Dundee University staff to strike over pensions dispute

·2-min read
Dundee University staff to strike over pensions dispute
Dundee University staff to strike over pensions dispute

Staff at the University of Dundee are to take industrial action for the second time over a pensions dispute, it has been confirmed.

Unite Scotland said on Wednesday that its members at the university will take part in continuous strike action from August 25 after 83% said they supported the move in a ballot turnout of 66%.

The row arose after the university proposed the closure of its defined benefit pensions scheme to Grades 1-6 and replace it with a defined contributions scheme in March 2021, which the union said meant the lowest-paid workers faced losing up to 50% of their pension.

The university withdrew the proposals after 11 days of strike action by Unite members in October last year, with the two sides going back into talks to explore other options.

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However, Unite said on Wednesday that it had seen “insufficient movement” by the university.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite members have already rejected the defined contribution proposals and have been left with no choice but to now reject the defined benefits proposals as these will still leave hundreds of workers at the university worse off in retirement.

“Despite months of feet-dragging by the university we are no further forward.

“Our members have Unite’s full support in the defence of their pensions and strike action is now firmly back on the cards.”

Unite regional officer Susan Robertson added: “The university’s proposals would mean Unite members work longer, pay in more and receive less in retirement which is totally unacceptable.

“These are the lowest paid workers at the university and deserve to be treated fairly.

“The university’s own draft, equality impact assessment shows that women workers and young workers will be disproportionally affected, yet they are hell-bent on proceeding.”