Socialist Worker

Sussex university workers resists pension attacks

Issue No. 2128

Some of the lowest paid workers at the University of Sussex are fighting an attack on their pensions that would see them paying more and retiring later—but receiving a lower – value pension in return.

Around 90 members of the Unite union struck for the third time last week and were set to strike again on Thursday of this week. Those joining the action include technical and computing workers and estates staff.

They are striking against management proposals to end the final salary pension scheme for new workers and to make current workers pay 50 percent more in contributions. Management also want to raise the retirement age from 60 to 65.

The strike has won support from workers around the country. “We’ve raised over £3,000 in solidarity so far and have had lots of messages of support,” one Unite committee member told Socialist Worker.

“The students are right behind us—we spoke at their union meeting last week.”

Unison members at the university have also voted to strike over the issue in an indicative ballot and may now move towards a formal ballot to join the action.

This is a critical strike, coming at a time when pension schemes are likely to come under sustained attack as the recession hits.

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Tue 18 Nov 2008, 19:32 GMT
Issue No. 2128
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