UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

UCU to strike over move to change University Pension Scheme

The University and College Union (UCU) today announced plans for strike action in Scotland on Thursday 17 March, in Wales on Friday 18 March, in Northern Ireland on Monday 21 March and in England on Tuesday 22 March.

There will then be a second day of strike action across the UK on Thursday 24 March.

Members at institutions that voted for action will be asked to strike against the detrimental proposals from university employers to reduce pension benefits and increase costs even though Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) is in robust health.

The employers plan to bring in the changes to the pension scheme on Friday 1 April. Last week UCU members of the USS pension scheme at 63 universities voted for strike action and action short of a strike.

Taken overall, two-thirds (64.55%) voted for strike action and over four-fifths (82.19%) voted for action short of a strike. http://www.pensionsage.com/pa/63-universities-to-be-hit-with-strikes-over-pensions-this-month.ph

Following the result of the ballot, UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, wrote to the Employers Pension Forum (EPF) to request urgent talks through the arbitration service, ACAS, to resolve the dispute and avoid the first national strike action in universities for five years. The union has still not had a response from the employers, but said today it remained hopeful of talks and a resolution without the need for action.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: "University staff really value their pension rights and have made their views of the detrimental changes crystal clear and if a settlement is not reached, they are prepared to strike to defend their pensions."