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TUC backs UCU's 'greatest' industrial action plans in pensions row

15 September 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

Trade unionists in Manchester today gave their backing to UCU's fight to stop 'draconian' changes to their pensions. Members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) are angry at plans to change the retirement age and end the final salary scheme.

They say the changes would create a two-tier system that could damage recruitment and retention in our universities. UCU has called for a full ballot of all members over the changes and the TUC today passed a motion supporting strike action to defend pensions.
Speaking the pensions debate, the union's treasurer, Alan Carr said: 'UCU members in higher education may not be the most militant trade unionists on the face of the earth.  But they are not mugs. They have lived for years with lousy pay and worsening conditions partly because of their professional commitment, but equally because of the promise of a decent pension.
'Let me send a clear message to the employers - mess with our pensions and you will provoke the greatest industrial dispute we have ever seen in higher education.'