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Unison strike ballot over university pensions

UNISON is urging its members working in universities to vote for strike action to defend their pension scheme from attack.

The ballot for strike action will start in April, and comes as employers wish to change the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) from a defined-benefit scheme to a defined-contribution one.

This means that workers’ pensions would no longer depend on their length of employment, but what sort of package they could individually buy upon retirement.

Unison members have already rejected the proposals by 91 per cent in an internal consultation, and their colleagues in the University and College Union (UCU) have taken industrial action.

UCU members across Britain walked out this month and last over the pensions changes, which would leave academic workers £10,000 worse off a year in retirement.

Unison head of higher education Donna Rowe-Merriman said it was “unthinkable” that university employers are proposing to “make some of the lowest-paid take on more risk for less money in retirement.

“This is not the way to reward staff for their hard work,” she said.


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