University lecturers strike over pension changes

Written by Tom Freeman on 22 February 2018 in News

UCU members set for walk out at Scottish universities over pension changes

Edinburgh university - creative commons

Lecturers at nine Scottish universities are taking part in a strike from today over changes to their pensions.

The University and College Union (UCU) members are taking part in a UK-wide action over proposals they say will "slash" their pensions in retirement.

The union says the strikes will escalate over the next four weeks.

Staff at Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, St Andrews, Strathclyde, Heriot-Watt and the Scottish Association for Marine Science at the University of the Highlands and Islands will be on strike from today, while Edinburgh and Stirling staff will join the strike on Monday because of timetable commitments.

UCU Scotland official Mary Senior said: "Nobody wants to take strike action, but staff across Scotland feel they have no choice. These hard-line proposals would slash staff pensions and are simply uncalled for.

"It is staggering that the universities have refused to engage with the union and a real insult to staff and to students.

"We hope students will continue to put pressure on the principals to get their reps back round the negotiating table."

Universities UK said the changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) were needed to address a £6bn deficit.

A spokesman for Universities Scotland said its priority was to minimise the impact of the walk-out on students.

"Universities Scotland is not a party in this dispute, but recognises the need for universities to address the funding challenges facing USS," he said

"Universities' immediate priority will be to try to minimise disruption to students' education and to vital student services during that time."

It is thought around 145,000 students will be affected by the strike.

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