Pension cuts protest sees lecturers and staff picketing outside Bangor University
- Author: Leroy Wright Feb 23, 2018,
Feb 23, 2018, 15:32
UCU members at the University are striking over changes to their pensions, which would see it based on investment performances rather than worker contributions.
Academics could lose up to £10,000 a year.
The escalating wave of strikes will take place over a four-week period, and is likely to affect 61 universities across the United Kingdom, beginning today with a five-day walkout either side of the weekend.
The action is due to a dispute over pensions.
Hundreds of thousands of university workers are understood to be enrolled in the USS pensions scheme, mainly those working at older institutions established before 1992.
Some lecturers have asked students to support them in their strike action in an attempt to force UUK back to the negotiating table.
The photo above was taken by Anna Bryson, senior lecturer at QUB School of Law.
Deej Malik-Johnson of Manchester University's students' union also defended the UCU's actions, saying: "The university will try and do its best to pit students against staff". "Even though it might feel like the only person you're hurting is yourself, if you don't come together and strike with colleagues we will all have awful pensions in our old age", she says. But Grant urges other research-only staff to take part.
He added, "We've received nearly no communication from [the University], and it's unacceptable that their unwillingness to compromise or engage has resulted in such disruption to our already time-strapped courses".
"This industrial action is targeted at students", a Universities UK spokesman said.
Whether these may be departmental or even more drastically, redundancies, the result will be detrimental to both staff and students.
She added: "Some might say that this is only further enforcing the marketization of our education, but lamentably that is the system we live in to me this seems like a rational way to put pressure on the University".
Finally, tell your tutors that you support the strikes. Parts of that university's research computing service could be affected because anything that requires human intervention "will be hampered by these strikes", Owain Kenway, who runs a computing team at UCL, wrote on Twitter.
Students stand alongside their lecturers on the picket line.
And staff overwhelmingly support industrial action: 88% of members of the UCU who voted backed strike action with a turnout of 58%.
North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins has called on all sides to settle the dispute to avoid prolonged strike action.
"It's unacceptable that we are being caught in the crossfire".
And Florence says she's signed a petition, like many other students across the country, calling for the university to partially refund their fees for lost teaching hours.
United Kingdom university lectures are in revolt, with industrial action now underway at more than 60 different institutions.
"I am deeply concerned about the impact this strike will have on students, who deserve to receive the education that they are paying for".
"We recognise that statutory timescales have pushed the USS trustee and the national negotiators towards this decision, however we will continue to encourage the employer representatives to undertake talks to provide a long term solution for the scheme which works for all parties". "Individual opinions vary; please show respect for all members of the community".