LECTURERS are set to walk out in a dispute over pay and pensions. 

Academics at Glasgow University have voted to take strike action between December 1-3 as part of an ongoing dispute over pensions and pay. 

The strike will take place at the end of the teaching year as students head into their exam and assessment period.

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Members of the University and Colleges Union (UCU) were balloted on two issues - one over pension cuts and another over pay and working conditions.

President of the Glasgow UCU branch, Dr Dania Thomas, claims that the dispute is over disparity in pensions between those who have been members of the Universities Supernanuation Scheme (USS) for longer and those who have just came into the scheme. She said: "The two issues we were baloted in, one was the USS changes to the pensions and the other was for strikes related to the equality pay gaps and casualisation.

Glasgow Times:

"The pay disputes have been going on for a while. For those of us who have been in the pensin scheme for longer our defined benefit component will be protected irrespective of changes and reductions."

"The dispute is about the erosion of the defined benefit component of pensions. Effectively the risk is borne by members of the pension scheme."

"The more that it gets eroded, the more it will affect new members to the scheme because they will have more risk built into their pensions than the older members.

"There's a very clear steer from our membership."

Dr Thomas stressed that there was no strike strategy as of yet, but members will meet next week to discuss.

Lecturers will also be participating in action short of strike from December 1 which will include marking boycotts, not providing cover for absent colleagues or providing teaching materials online. 

UCU hope that there will be further talks to avoid the strike action. Ms Thomas added: "Come to the table and have a public statement. The ball is really on their table."

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: "Strikes over three consecutive days are set to hit university campuses next month unless employers get round the table and take staff concerns over pension cuts, pay and working conditions seriously.

'UCU has repeatedly asked employers to meet with us to try to resolve these disputes. But while we set out pragmatic solutions that could halt widespread disruption to UK campuses, university bosses refuse to revoke unnecessary, swingeing pension cuts or even to negotiate on issues like casualisation and the unbearably high workloads that blight higher education

'A resolution to this dispute is simple. But if employers remain intent on slashing pensions and exploiting staff who have kept this sector afloat during a pandemic then campuses will face strike action before Christmas, which will escalate into spring with reballots and further industrial action."

A spokesperson for the Universities Superannuation Scheme said: “We understand the concerns of USS members faced with proposals for higher contributions or benefits that will build up more slowly in the future. But the fundamental truth is that the price of promising a set, inflation-protected income for life in retirement – paid no matter what happens to the economy or the Higher Education sector in future – is much more expensive today than in the past.

“The decisions of our stakeholders, at the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC), respond to the challenges presented by long-term economic and demographic trends by slowing the pace at which USS pension promises build up in future.

“The JNC’s proposals – enabled by a very substantial commitment negotiated by the Trustee from employers to support their covenant to the scheme – put USS on a more sustainable footing for the long-term in a way that is affordable to members and employers.

“Under the changes proposed, USS would be among the relatively few private defined benefit pension schemes in the country still open to new members and still offering valuable ‘guaranteed’ benefits to its members."

Glasgow University has been approached for comment.