Scottish university staff back plans for pension strike

University staff across Scotland have spoken out in support of industrial action in a row over pensions.

The University and College Union (UCU) balloted members of Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) in 69 UK institutions, with a result of 78% of voters being in favour of a strike and 87% supporting industrial action.Out of the 69 institutions that took part-a turnout rate of 45%- nine were Scottish. These included Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Stirling, Glasgow and St Andrews.According to union bosses, the reasoning behind the call of action came as proposed changes to the USS prompted by an expected deficit were too simplistic and had not taken into account the strengths of the scheme.

The proposals for the industrial action could affect students, with staff threatening to boycott marking exams and coursework. However, modelling done by First Actuarial has shown that academics would be thousands of pounds worse off if changes do not go ahead.

UCU Scotland Official Mary Senior said: “UCU members have made it quite clear today that they reject the radical changes being proposed for their pensions.
We will go into talks on Wednesday hopeful that we can resolve the current impasse.”

She added: “We will go into that meeting with a serious mandate from members that they need to see real improvements. If the employers do not address our concerns then we will meet on Friday to determine what forms of disruptive action we take and when they would start.”

Talks are to be held tomorrow between the union and employers’ representatives.

For more information, visit The University and College Union’s website.

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