The University is to change its pension schemes for all staff

Why not just sell the limo?


The University has proposed to close its defined benefit (DB) pension scheme which covers both its academic and non-academic staff.

Within this scheme the employer, in this case the University, contributes to its employees' pension pots based on the length of time they have worked at the University and their final salaries upon retirement. Under this scheme the University must also guarantee there is enough money in the pension fund to pay its employees' retirements.

There are currently over 2000 non-academic staff, including cleaners, administrators, librarians and caterers, and nearly double that of lecturers and academics, employed by the University who's pensions are looked after by this scheme and who could lose potential pension funds as a result of this change.

It is the wish of the executive branch to move all of its staff to a defined contribution (DC) pension scheme wherein the employer still pays into its employees' pension pots but does not have to guarantee a percentage of the workers salaries upon retirement. This effectively transfers risk from the University to the employees who will have to take on the burden of ensuring their investments will provide them with enough money to live on in retirement.

It was recently revealed that not only does Sir Christopher Snowden enjoy a £430,000+ salary but that he, along with other members of the executive branch, sits on the committee which decides his and his close colleagues' pay packages. The move to change staff pensions is probably how they will afford these huge salaries.

But I'm sure all of us can point out a fairer way of saving money instead of altering staff pensions, isn't that right Mr. Vice-Chancellor?

The mood amongst employees and students toward the recent actions of the Uni bosses is already one of anger and frustration.

Adrian Dolby of Unison said this of Soton: "Staff are overworked and feel undervalued, while uncertainty over restructuring plans is adding to their stress levels. Now they hear their pension is under attack. This could be the final straw."

C'mon Mr. Snowden. Just get rid of the limo, use the Unilink buses you're paying for and take a pay reduction. Is that really so hard? No one's saying you haven't worked hard to get where you are just don't take the piss and stop shitting on your staff.

I wonder how much time will pass before you realise you can't make money out of a University that doesn't work.

Food for thought.