UCU members begin vote for strike action to defend their pensions
University lecturers in Scotland are today being balloted for strike action in the row over changes to public sector pensions.
Members of the UCU in the Scottish Teachers’ Superannuation Scheme (STSS) are being asked if they are prepared to take strike action in protest at changes to their pensions that would see them pay more and work longer in exchange for reduced benefits in retirement.
If they back the action then UCU members in ‘modern’ universities (also known as post-92 universities) will join a host of other public sector unions in co-ordinated action on Wednesday 30 November.
Despite the fact that the STSS pension scheme is a devolved matter, the Scottish government will be implementing the increase in employee contributions in 2012/13 in line with the Westminster proposals.
UCU Scotland president Gordon Watson said: “We are urging UCU members to back strike action to defend their pensions. Members of all Scottish education unions are being balloted along with around three million trade union members across the UK.
“Teachers, lecturers and public sector workers are calling on the Scottish Government to work with unions to seek a resolution to the dispute and not impose changes to pensions that will result in lecturers paying an extra £90 a month, on average, in exchange for reduced benefits.”
UCU members in the traditional pre-92 universities are members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (the second largest private scheme in the UK) and are already involved in industrial action which has them ‘working to contract’. By working to contract, staff refuse to undertake extra duties or work outside their contracted hours.
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