Union members to strike over pensions as new term begins

UNISON, UNITE, UCU and Propect members at Aberystwyth University have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking strike action following the university’s decision to close the pension scheme.

The unions are all in dispute with the university over the closure of the scheme that will see many staff facing large cuts to their pensions. Lower paid staff will be particularly hard hit.

83% of UNISON members who took part in the ballot voted for strike action. 

UNISON regional organiser Simon Dunn said: ”I am not surprised so many of our members have voted for strike action and as a result we are considering taking four days action at the start of the new term. 

“Clearly our members do not want to lose four days pay nor do they want to disrupt the first few days of term.

“Furthermore, our members did not want the university to face even more bad press which has already negatively impacted its’ reputation amongst current and potential students.

“But, in the face of their pensions being cut and any security in retirement being removed, they do not feel they have a choice.

“Ultimately, the university has taken the decision to close the current pension scheme for the lowest paid staff.

“Whereas, discussions are about to open at a UK-level regarding the pensions of higher graded staff.

“All we have been arguing for is a level playing field, so all employees are treated the same, which is perfectly reasonable.

“The university must see that its’ workforce are completely opposed to the changes being made, and we urge the university council and executive to reconsider their position.”

UNISON head of pensions Glyn Jenkins said: “The university is effectively condemning workers to a poverty pension.

“Some of the lowest paid workers will lose sums that amount to thousands of pounds per year upon their retirement as a direct consequence of this decision.

“UNISON members have voted for industrial action as the proposed cuts are too much to bear.”