27 February 2018
The Green Party fully support the strike action called by UCU in defence of pensions in the Pre-92 University Sector. The reforms to the USS pension scheme would have a catastrophic impact on pension value to academic and academic related staff, the loss amounts to around £10,000 a year per person on average.
The Green Party Deputy Leader Amelia Womack calls on Universities UK and the management of the Universities who are involved in the pension scheme to stop the destruction of USS and to bring forward proposals which will ensure the long term value of the scheme to the UK higher education sector.
Sam Riches, GPEW Policy Development Coordinator 2013-2017, works at Lancaster University as an academic administrator. She commented, 'This strike is receiving unprecedented support from UCU members. At Lancaster we have had over 100 on the picket line in freezing temperatures, with many new members signing up in the days before industrial action began and also once the strike had started.
'USS is the biggest private pension scheme in the UK Higher Education sector, with over 300,000 members in academic and related roles in universities which existed before 1992. Staff in 64 institutions are currently on strike to protest against proposed changes to our pension scheme that will risk substantial reductions in previously predicted retirement incomes. It is also worth noting that USS is being criticised for its investments in some very dubious Industries, including fossil fuel extraction and tobacco, and as a Green Party member I am calling upon USS to fully engage with the USS: Step Up campaign run by ShareAction. https://shareaction.org/uss