More workers at Dundee University have voted to take strike action in a row over changes to their pensions.
Members of Unison are already taking industrial action in a bid to overturn plans to close the university’s superannuation scheme.
Now Unite says more than 100 of its members will take action from October 25 after the move gained unanimous backing.
It will include administrators, student support staff, technicians and estates staff.
Why is strike action taking place?
The union claims that new proposals from Dundee University will mean that workers could lose up to 50% of their pension.
Unite says the changes will impact the lowest-paid workers and mainly women, who make up about 70% of members.
It is claimed that staff at the university will have to work longer hours and contribute more into their pensions with no guarantee of the amount they will receive during retirement.
Susan Robertson, Unite industrial officer, says the university has “completely ignored calls” from politicians to get back round the table and find an “amicable” solution.
She said: “They seem hell-bent on proceeding with a pension scheme which will disproportionally impact upon the lowest-paid workers who are also predominantly women workers.”
Ms Robertson claims the university should be applying “fair work principles”, adding: “These principles make it clear that employers, workers and trade unions should work together to reach the right decisions concerning workplace issues, and to ensure that workers are treated fairly and with respect.
“Yet the proposals on the table will plunge workers into pension poverty and require them to work longer.
“Dundee is already a city with widespread deprivation. The University of Dundee prides itself on being the place to study.
“It should pride itself on being the place to work as well.”
On Monday, Professor Iain Gillespie, principal and vice-chancellor of the university, faced staff on the Unison picket line where he vowed to continue a consultation over the plans.
Members of that union have been striking since last Wednesday and held a rally in City Square to make their views heard.
Responding to Unite’s announcement of strike action on Tuesday, he said: “The local University of Dundee superannuation scheme has a significant deficit according to the latest valuation, at around £55 million, which is why we are proposing changes.
“We have already committed to putting an extra £40m into the scheme over the next ten years to help address the deficit.
“We have been notified by Unite of the results of their ballot.
“We remain in a consultation period on the proposals for the pension scheme, which was extended at the unions’ request, and is still scheduled to run to 14 November.
“I am determined that we get back to serious discussion with the campus unions on proposals for the scheme and I am calling for them to return to negotiation.
“I sincerely hope a resolution can be agreed on a sustainable pensions outcome for the University and our staff.”