Socialist Worker

Lecturers to ballot over pensions

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2580


UCU members have voted for a ballot over pensions

UCU members have voted for a ballot over pensions (Pic: Socialist Worker)

UCU union members have voted for a ballot for escalating strikes to defend their pensions. Attacks on their USS pension scheme could slash the value of workers’ pensions by half.

Workers in older universities are part of the defined benefit scheme.

The pension scheme is in surplus. But bosses have valued it as being in deficit based on estimates of how much the scheme will pay out in the future.

They want to replace USS with a worse defined contributions scheme.


UCU members met for a special conference to discuss the attacks last Thursday. They voted to ballot members for escalating strikes and a work to rule, including marking boycotts.

The ballot could begin next month if bosses don’t back down.

There is deep anger over the attack among UCU members. Some 87 percent backed industrial action to defend the scheme on a turnout of nearly 56 percent in an online consultation last month.

UCU members are now preparing to lobby MPs and hold public rallies to galvanise support.

The attack on USS is part of a wider assault on workers’ pensions. Everyone should get behind the UCU members’ fight.

The UCU Left will hold its annual conference at Soas University of London on Saturday from 10am until 4pm. To register for your place go to

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