Historic stand at UK universities to protect pensions

jeudi 12 avril 2018
par  SNCS

At 64 universities and HE colleges, following the UCU’s call for industrial action, teaching and research staff have remained on strike for 14 days since 22 February, affecting over a million students. Staff have been protesting against reform of their pension scheme. They are set to lose a yearly equivalent of up to 11 000 euros in their pensions and face an immediate increase in their contributions. Such a situation, compounded by low incomes, would further cause damage to the attractiveness of academic careers. Under pretence of tackling a 6.8bn euros deficit in the University superannuation scheme, employers forming part of UUK want to switch from a defined benefit scheme to another plan whereby pensions would be subject to the variations of the funds’ performance on financial markets. Until now, the scheme offers a guaranteed retirement income, based on wage-related contributions and length of service.

This reform is in many ways similar to the points-based scheme about to be forced upon us and in which actual retirement income cannot be known in advance.

Six days of further talks resulted in new proposals (discussed between employers and UCU) turned down by the academics on strike. Colleagues have decided to remain on strike, which, unless new talks allow otherwise, may now disrupt end of year examinations and graduation ceremonies.

Both the Syndicat National de l’Enseignement Supérieur (SNESUP-FSU) and the Syndicat National des Chercheurs Scientifiques (SNCS-FSU) fully support the demands of British academics to protect their pension scheme as well as the attractiveness of careers in HE and research. They wish them and their Union, the UCU, all success in their struggle.

Paris, the third april 2018

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