Sheffield University lecturers vote in favour of strike action over pension changes

Sally Hunt, University and Colleges Union general secretary
Sally Hunt, University and Colleges Union general secretary
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Sheffield University lecturers have voted in favour of industrial action in a row over changes to their pensions.

In the national University and College Union ballot 78 per cent of those who voted opted for strike action and 87 per cent voted for action short of a strike, which could include a marking boycott.

The turnout of 45 per cent was the highest since the UCU was formed in 2006.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: “Our members have made it quite clear they reject the radical changes being proposed for their pensions.”

Talks are scheduled today between the union and the employers’ representatives and, if there is no agreement, the union will discuss action on Friday.

The union claims proposed changes will leave lecturers in the country’s ‘old’ universities thousands of pounds worse off.

Ian Wright, head of employee relations at The University of Sheffield, said: “Here at the university, we understand that changes to the pension scheme need to be made in order for it to remain affordable and sustainable, and we’re keen to provide a solution to ensure our staff continue to have a pension scheme they can be proud of.

“Any proposals for change are not expected until later this year.”