Members of the UCU at Kent have been taking action over threatened cuts to our pensions. You can read more about the issue on the Defend USS website.
The site includes a briefing for students – we have hard copies if any members of the branch would like to use them. It is very important that members use whatever opportunity we have to try and get our message across to students and the wider public in the face of articles like the one in last week’s Kentish Gazette.
Here’s one lecturer’s response:
I’m now less than 10 years from retirement and in the past 3 years I have had my benefits reduced (by an arbitrary date that left me 12 days on the wrong side), had my state pension date moved up by another two years and now likely to have my benefits slashed substantively. What am I supposed to tell my family? The fact that we are in a low economic cycle because of major flaws in the banking and financial sectors that has affected all pension and savings schemes, probably just bottoming out now, means that this is precisely the wrong time to make long term changes to schemes as the data is completely skewed.
It is worth noting that MPs, supposedly public sector, have inflation busting pay rises agreed, have a more than gold plated pensions scheme (only needing to pay in 5 years to get a pension equivalent of 40 years paying in at the average lecturer wage). I cut my salary by 2/3 to come here, left a pension scheme that was 1:55 to come and teach instead, more fool me. Where will we recruit the next generation of lecturers from I wonder?