Socialist Worker

‘We need to lose our fear and strike hard’

Issue No. 2254

Some 80,000 lecturers in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme are set to join public sector strikes to defend pensions on 30 June.

This includes lecturers in the UCU union in further education colleges and in newer universities.

Mercedes Carbayo is a UCU member at Nottingham Trent University. She told Socialist Worker, “The only way of fighting is to be united and say we won’t take this.

“The changes the government wants to impose to our pension scheme will hit me hard. I’m in the middle of my career, which means I’ll lose a lot.

“I’ll be striking on Thursday 30 June but I think we have to do other things too.

“Things like refusing to administer admissions or boycotting exams would have a big impact. And I think we need a general strike—whether it’s legal or not.

“I’m from Spain. I can’t believe that, in this country, a general strike could be illegal. I think if they say it’s illegal we should do it anyway and we should break the law.

“I’d be proud to be a political prisoner for breaking that law.

“History shows that we never get anywhere unless we push the boundaries. The hardest thing in the world is to live without fear. But I think we have to lose our fear.”

Parliamentary report pulls apart pension lies

The government’s claims that public sector pensions are unaffordable and must be “reformed” were exposed as cynical lies last week.

A report by parliament’s Committee of Public Accounts noted that changes to workers’ pensions schemes made in 2006 will save an incredible “£67 billion over the coming 50 years”.

This blows apart the government’s key idea that spending on pensions is out of control.

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