Fair Pensions for Staff, Compensation for Students

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Professor Williams, the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University, has made it clear that he is in favour of the proposed cuts to staff pensions. He is not open to dialogue leaving staff no option but to strike for fourteen days in the hope that they will cause him to reconsider. We, the students of Heriot-Watt University, do not take their decision lightly and are strongly opposed to the cuts that have driven this strike for three main reasons.

Firstly, we respect and appreciate our professors and recognise them as a vital stepping stone in our career paths. We believe that the university has a responsibility to ensure their well-being, both during their time in employment at Heriot-Watt University and in their retirement.

Secondly, a strike would have disastrous consequences on us, the students. Professor William's decision not to dialogue is directly affecting every student in the university. Honours and postgraduate students have exams and being deprived of almost three whole weeks of class could send our grades plummeting and have catastrophic and long-lasting consequences on our prospects of further education and future employment. Furthermore, our tuition fees will not be reimbursed even if we don't receive class and living costs in Edinburgh are high.

Finally, a strike would have repercussions for years to come on the reputation of the university. Bad publicity would surely remove Heriot-Watt University from its position of being in the top 2% of universities worldwide and pension cuts would cause several professors to leave and find new jobs, creating a potential staffing crisis at the university which would further damage its reputation.

For all of the above reasons, the students at Heriot-Watt University stand united with their professors and strongly urge Professor Williams to enter into dialogue with his staff and reconsider his decision.



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