UEA branch voted overwhelmingly – and on a record turn-out – to take strike action to defend the DB pension.
While there is debate over the financial implications of this, there is no evidence that maintaining a DB scheme is impossible. We believe that negotiations should resume to look at ways of managing the scheme.
The proposed change from UUK will disproportionately affect those at the start of their careers, or those intending to enter the profession in the future. We do not believe it is right that those colleagues should have worse work benefits than those later in their career; this would not be an act of solidarity, and is contrary to the communal ethos that underpins a university.
It is in this spirit that 1,000 professors – likely to be relatively unaffected by these changes – signed a letter to the Times Higher stating, “we want to stand shoulder to shoulder with all our colleagues, and especially the next generation, to defend our profession”. Similarly, we reject the current proposal on the grounds of its abandonment of early career staff, which will damage those colleagues as individuals, and the profession more broadly.
The planned strike days are as follows:
Week one – Thursday 22 and Friday 23 February (two days);
Week two – Monday 26, Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 February (three days);
Week three – Monday 5, Tuesday 6, Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 March (four days);
Week four – Monday 12, Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14, Thursday 15 and Friday 16 March (five days)
There are strike FAQs here https://www.ucu.org.uk/uss-action-faqs
If you support the defence of pensions, and want to take strike action, it’s not too late to join UCU – https://www.ucu.org.uk/join