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University staff vote in favour of strike action in pensions dispute



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ecturers, researchers and other academic staff have voted in favour of strike action on campuses across the UK over pensions.

The union has said the result reflected staff anger over cuts to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pensions which it claims would reduce the guaranteed retirement income of a typical member by 35%.

According to the UCU, a total of 35 branches beat the 50% turnout threshold for strike action over pensions. 

The ballot covered 68 institutions.

The threshold rule does not apply to Queens University Belfast or the University of Ulster, so 37 universities could take strike action.

These results are a clear mandate for strike action over pension cuts and should be heard loud and clear by university employers

Thousands of university workers have been balloted over recent weeks on strikes over pay, pensions and working conditions, threatening disruption at universities before the end of the year.

The UCU has warned previously that a campaign of industrial action could stretch into the new year if the deadlocked row remains unresolved.

The results of a ballot over pay and working conditions are yet to be released, but the union is expecting them to be published on Friday.

After the results of both ballots have been received, the UCU’s higher education committee will meet on November 12 to decide the next steps.

Jo Grady, UCU general secretary, said: “These results are a clear mandate for strike action over pension cuts and should be heard loud and clear by university employers.

“Staff in universities they have given their all to support students during the pandemic, but management have responded by trying to slash their guaranteed pension by 35%.



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