University of St Andrews staff overwhelmingly support strike action over pensions

Over 90 per cent of University of St Andrews staff said they were considering taking industrial action over pension concerns

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A ballot held by the University and College Union (UCU) showed that St Andrews staff are in favour of industrial action. Over 90 per cent of those who participated agreed that they would consider strike action over proposed changes to pensions. Over 95 per cent agreed that they would take other action, short of a strike.

Additionally, St Andrews maintains that at least 50 per cent of staff must vote in ballots to ensure a fair majority in union decisions. The turn out was the 13th highest of the 70 institutions were the ballot was held.

The ballot comes as a result of, what UCU terms, an "attack' on pensions. UCU argues that university and college employers will now "say your final pension should depend on how your 'investments' perform and not on your contributions." Finally, UCU argues that the only response to this, and indeed in reversing the alleged pension changes, "serious and sustained industrial action" is required.

The university has not announced a date for any potential strike action but it hopes that this will not adversely affect student experience. Over

A spokesman for the University of St Andrews said: “We understand the strength of feeling of members of USS about potential changes to the national pension scheme that is reflected in the ballot result.

We hope that industrial action can be avoided, but if it does take place the University will do all it can to minimise any adverse impact on our students, and we hope that UCU will take a similarly responsible stance.”