Lecturers vote for further action

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Members of the University and College Union (UCU) who are in the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), a pension scheme for academic staff, have voted in favour of further industrial action for the coming term. Lancaster University will be one of 67 affected, with over one million students facing potential disruption.

UCU have been in a long-running dispute with the Employers’ Pension Forum (EPF) over the imposition of changes to USS, including that of a two-tier scheme which will create significant differences between existing and current members of the scheme. The ballot, held over summer, follows two days of strike action in March this year.

According to the Union’s website, 77% of members voted in the ballot. UCU claims that “increased turnout compared to the last ballot, despite the fact that the vote took place during the summer months, [is] evidence of members’ strong feelings.”

The nature of the action to take place is as yet unconfirmed, but working-to-contract and working-to-rule are being considered, as are marking and assessment boycotts. Members have also voted in favour of strike action if required.

Lancaster University UCU’s Press Liaison, James Groves, was unable to comment on what action might take place at this University. “‘We don’t know yet’ is the answer. It is possible we will be taking nationwide strike action with many other unions to defend pensions on November 30th – but this has not yet been agreed.

We […] are waiting to see what our National Executive decides to do following the ballot result,” he said.

More: read the rest of SCAN’s coverage of the USS dispute.
Universities’ union calls for strike action (16/03/11)
Lecturers man picket lines for pensions (29/03/11)
Striking or not, the lecturers are looking out for our future (29/03/11)
Further strikes likely in academics’ pension dispute (11/09/11)

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