UK professors on strike over proposed pension plan changes

Professors in the United Kingdom are on strike in protest of a proposed change to their defined benefit pension plan.

According to the University and College Union (UCU), which represents 120,000 academics in the UK, Universities UK is proposing to end the defined benefit portion of professors’ pensions. This could result in the reduction of up to £10,000 a year per member, said Sally Hunt, UCU general secretary, in an article published in the Guardian.

“That is bad enough, but what has exacerbated the situation is a sense that until last week many employers had not been interested in engaging with the strong feelings of staff about these cuts – that their views were not worth listening to. Politicians, students and parents are rightly worried and have made it clear in recent days that they think UUK needs to start listening,” Hunt wrote.

The strike entered its ninth day on Friday, and the UCU has approved another 14-day wave of strike action across the UK.

Universities UK has asked professors to stop the strike while negotiations between the two sides take place. According to Universities UK, the pension scheme is facing a £12.6 billion deficit.


Sally Hunt commentary in the Guardian

University and College Union

Addressing the university pension fund deficit - Universities UK