University of Aberdeen: push for negotiation to protect staff pensions
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UCU members at pre-92 universities are set to take 14 days of strike action to defend the USS pension scheme. When UCU members here at the University of Aberdeen were balloted, the 70% turnout was 5th strongest across the UK. 85% of all votes cast called for sustained strike action to defend pensions.
Trustees of the University Superannuation Scheme (USS) want to push through changes that will see academic staff lose more £200,000 from their pensions in retirement and lose the security of the current ‘Defined Benefit’ scheme. We believe lecturers and other hard working university staff deserve a decent quality pension scheme and are right to strike in defence of having a decent standard of living in retirement.
We believe that University of Aberdeen students deserve the very best education and experience. Over five centuries our students have benefited from having the very best staff and teaching. Indeed, many of our graduates have embarked on their own academic career and many will join them in the future. But recent proposals by the USS mean that a poor pension now joins the low pay, long hours, casual contracts, intense workload and stress which graduates will inevitably face. These are some of the reasons the NUS and AUSA have declared their support for UCU's campaign.
We the undersigned call upon Sir Ian Diamond, University of Aberdeen Vice-Chancellor to:
- publicly and urgently press Universities UK to return to negotiations to protect the Defined Benefit pension so University employees continue to know how much their retirement income will be
- confirm that pay docked from striking UCU members will be donated to the Student Hardship Fund
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