Extracted from UCU national press release. Local information to follow.
UCU Scotland announces 14 strike dates at nine Scottish universities in pensions row
- 14 days of escalating strikes over four week period begins with five-day walkout around weekend
Fourteen days of strikes at nine Scottish universities* will begin on Thursday 22 February the University and College Union (UCU) Scotland announced today (Monday).
The union has written to the universities to inform them of an escalating wave of strikes over a four week period that will begin with a five-day walkout either side of a weekend. There will then be four days of strikes from Monday 5 – Thursday 8 March and a full five-day walkout the following week (12 – 16 March). The strike dates are:
Week one – Thursday 22 and Friday 23 February (two days)
Week two – Monday 26, Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 February (three days)
Week three – Monday 5, Tuesday 6, Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 March (four days)
Week four – Monday 12, Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14, Thursday 15 and Friday 16 March (five days)
Due to academic timetabling two universities, Edinburgh and Stirling, will not take action in week one and will instead walkout on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 March. They will participate in all the other strike dates.
Last week talks between UCU and the employers’ representative Universities UK (UUK) ended without agreement and UUK’s plans to transform the scheme were forced through by the chair’s casting vote.
The dispute is part of UK wide action and centres on UUK’s proposals to end the defined benefit element of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension scheme. UCU says this would leave a typical lecturer almost £10,000 a year worse off in retirement than under the current set-up.
In the recent strike ballot UCU members overwhelmingly backed industrial action. Overall, 87% of members in Scotland who voted backed strike action and 93% backed action short of a strike. The turnout in Scotland was 63% and 58% across the UK. A full breakdown of the results by institution is available here.
UCU General Secretary, Sally Hunt, said:
Staff who have delivered the international excellence principals use to justify their own lavish pay and perks are understandably angry at efforts to slash their pensions. They feel let down by leaders who seem to care more about defending their own perks than the rights of their staff.
Strike action on this scale has not been seen before on Scottish or UK campuses, but universities need to know the full scale of the disruption they will be hit with if they refuse to sort this mess out.
* Universities affected by strike action
|Aberdeen, The University of|
|Dundee, The University of|
|Edinburgh, University of|
|Glasgow, The University of|
|St Andrews, University of|
|Stirling, The University of|
|Strathclyde, University of|
|Scottish Association for Marine Science at University of the Highlands and Islands|