University lecturers want to go on strike over pensions

Emma Haslett
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UCU members include staff at Oxford and Cambridge (Source: Getty)

University lecturers has become the latest group to threaten industrial action, in a dispute over pensions.

The University and College Union (UCU) said 87 per cent of members who voted in a consultative ballot said they are prepared to go on strike over changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), lecturers' pension scheme.

Universities and their staff have been asked to increase the amount they pay towards pensions. In September the USS said the cost of funding future pensions promises has increased by 35 per cent.

Today the UCU said its members, mainly staff at "pre-92 universities" including Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial, may also vote over refusing to co-operate with government initiatives such as the Teaching Excellence Framework, the Research Excellence Framework and the National Student Survey.

"USS members work at some of the most celebrated universities in the UK and yet their pension benefits are the worst in the sector," said Sally Hunt, general secretary at UCU.

"Further cuts in benefits will only make this situation worse. Staff are totally fed up with being treated poorly by employers who seem only to be interested in defending their own sky-high salaries and bloated pension pots."

Universities UK, the industry body, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read more: Heathrow facing Christmas strike threat as workers back industrial action

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