Socialist Worker

Low paid workers stage week-long pensions walkout at Dundee University

by Carlo Morelli, UCU Dundee university branch co-chair
Issue No. 2775

On the picket line in Dundee

On the picket line in Dundee


Low paid workers stage week-long pensions walkout at Dundee University

Members of the Unison union at Dundee University struck for five days from Wednesday of last week in defence of their pensions.

Bosses want to close workers’ defined benefit scheme entirely and replace it with a much worse defined contribution scheme. This will slash pensions by 40 percent.

The mostly women strikers are already the lowest paid staff in the university and these cuts will cause poverty in retirement.

The current scheme is far from generous. But the new proposals would leave many unable to afford to retire.

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Emma, one of the strikers, told their rally that her pension would fall from £11,000 per year to just £6,000.

Strikers are adamant that they will not accept these cuts and they will fight to preserve their pensions.

They have been joined on strike by a small number of UCU members who are also in the local pension scheme. Other members are currently balloting to join the action. If Dundee is able to close its pension scheme for low paid staff others will follow.

It’s a fight for retirement rights across the sector.

The pay inequalities and out of touch management attitudes have hardened strikers resolve.

While the highest paid slash pensions and award themselves bonuses the lowest paid are expected to survive on low pay and face pension poverty.

Top managers’ monthly salary alone is more than twice what strikers will be expected to live on for two years in retirement.


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