Pay UoM faculty pensions
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OPEN LETTER - STUDENT RESPONSE TO STAFF PENSION STRIKES
Dear Dame Rothwell and Dr Redmond,
We are writing to complain about the ludicrous situation that we as students find ourselves in due to the University's refusal to pay pensions that are rightfully due, subjecting staff futures to the vulnerability of uncertain stock market fluctuations. A University without satisfied teaching staff is worthless. The fact that our tutors have to resort to such drastic action suggests a complete disregard for their interests and highlights the bureaucratic nature of management. We completely support their right to strike but are aware that they take no pleasure in having to do this.
This is a disgraceful attack. Universities UK (the body that oversees the pension scheme) claim that the changes are necessary because the pension scheme is in debt, and universities claim they cannot cover the cost of this. However, this rings rather hollow in the context of sky-rocketing vice-chancellor pay (up 12% in some cases). In contrast, the pay of ordinary university staff has fallen 14.5% since 2009. Once again ordinary members of staff are asked to pay for a crisis they didn’t cause.
The gross misconduct of University management is forcing us to miss three whole weeks of teaching, which is absolutely unacceptable. Many of us are international students paying extortionate fees (often self-funded), and our education is no joke. It's bad enough that there have been hundreds of staff cuts, and that the University refuses to divest from Caterpillar and Technion, continuing to financially support Israel's brutal Apartheid and the inhumane treatment of Palestinians.
The value of lost contact time is an approximately valued at a total £1200 for home students, and £2000 for International students. We demand that the University negotiate with the UCU and staff on strike, or pay each student a full refund for the contact time missed.
Ignoring these demands will not silence us, or our lecturers and tutors. They deserve their pensions, and we deserve the learning we have paid for. The University's reputation is at stake, and we will not stop here. The Mancunion are already covering this issue, and this letter will be made accessible not only to them but to local and international press.
The monetary compensation will only be a fraction of what students really deserve - their education.
Hana Jafar and Edda Vallen
Student Representatives for BA (Hons) English Literature, Level 2 (School of Arts, Languages and Cultures)
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