Workers at Dundee University have announced they will launch further strike action next week amid an ongoing pension dispute.
Unison say all members will strike on Monday and Tuesday and “selective” action will continue in libraries, security and the mail for the next two weeks with finance continuing for the next week.
Similar strikes are being held across the UK.
What do workers want?
Unison say it wants the following actions before it suspends the strikes:
- Withdrawal of the defined contribution proposal
- Detailed joint work on defined benefit alternatives
- A UEG and court decision at the end of joint work on defined benefit alternatives
Unison Branch Secretary Phil Welsh said: “We met with the principal on Tuesday to set up a framework to negotiate a reformed defined benefit option.
“Unfortunately he continues to prefer pushing ahead with an inferior defined contribution scheme and that any alternative must fit within a ‘cost and risk envelope’ which has never been shared with us.
“We have not detected any genuine change of heart from the university regarding its proposals which would slash retirement incomes for our members and leave them bearing all the risks of any investment shortfalls.
“We presented the new framework to members on Wednesday, and they emphatically rejected the proposal. 96.4% of members rejected a defined contribution scheme.”
Speaking in Belfast, Unison’s general secretary Christina McAnea, described the university’s approach as “absolutely appalling” and said she felt “incredibly proud” of the action being taken by members at the university.
Meetings between university and unions unsuccessful
So far, attempts to broker a deal between the union and the university have been unsuccessful.
A Dundee University spokesperson said: “Earlier this week, professor Iain Gillespie, principal and vice chancellor of the university, accompanied by members of his executive group, met with representatives of the campus unions.
“At this meeting, he offered to withdraw the defined contribution proposal currently on the table, as the unions had requested.
“The principal also offered to work with the unions on an improved defined contribution option, and to fully explore defined benefit alternatives and options that retain an element of defined benefit.
“It was requested that the unions agree to withdraw their planned industrial action to allow us to immediately progress with discussions on this basis.”
The spokesperson went on to state bosses at the university have been left frustrated by the decision to reject their offer.
He said: “This is particularly disappointing given the offer to withdraw the current option and discuss defined benefit options, which we had understood were the unions’ pre-conditions for the re-starting of discussions.
“We remain committed to finding a solution that will provide a dignified retirement for our staff, while being affordable for all parties and tackling the significant issues that the University of Dundee Superannuation and Life Assurance Scheme (UoDSS) faces.
“The scheme currently has a deficit of £55 million and the university has pledged £40 million over the next 10 years to address this.”