Socialist Worker

Lecturers' USS vote is a fight for all pensions

Issue No. 2270

Lecturers in the UCU union have voted for industrial action in defence of their USS final salary pensions scheme.

Some 58 percent backed strikes and 77 percent action short of a strike.

The turnout in the ballot, which took place over the summer break, was 42 percent.

That’s higher than a ballot on defending USS pensions earlier this year, where 36 percent turned out to vote.

The action is part of the wider defence of pensions and resistance to austerity that will see millions on strike on 30 November.

Bosses tried to make massive cuts to benefits for new entrants to the scheme, but less severe cuts for existing members.

This was an attempt at divide and rule—trying to undermine solidarity so the existing members would not fight.

But the two ballot results show how wrong they were.

The UCU union has now called action short of a strike, starting with demonstrations and protests on 3 October, when the changes are set to be implemented.

There will then be a work to rule from 10 October.

Branches need to meet urgently to discuss how to make the action as effective as possible.

Action needs to include as many members as possible—and make solidarity links with students.

The union needs to be at the heart of the coordinated action again in November.

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Tue 20 Sep 2011, 18:04 BST
Issue No. 2270
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