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Striking Sheffield University staff to march over pensions

27 February 2018

Staff and students at the University of Sheffield will be marching through the city centre tomorrow (Wednesday) as strikes over proposed cuts to pensions enter their fifth day.

Members of UCU at the University of Sheffield will leave Information Commons at 12pm, and march to Barker's Pool for a rally at 12.30pm with speakers to include Cllr Lewis Dagnall and Martin Mayer from the Sheffield Trades Council. The march and rally are also being supported by the Sheffield Students' Union.

The dispute centres on proposals to end the defined benefit element of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension scheme. UCU says this would leave a typical lecturer almost £10,000 a year worse off in retirement than under the current set-up.

In the recent strike ballot UCU members overwhelmingly backed industrial action. Locally, 89% of UCU members at Sheffield who voted backed strike action on a turnout of 64%. The strikes affect 28,715 students at the University of Sheffield.

UCU rep at the University of Sheffield Sam Marsh said: 'Strike action which disrupts students' learning is always a last resort for staff, but these hardline proposals would slash our pensions and are simply unacceptable. We have been overwhelmed by the response from students in Sheffield on the picket lines and are grateful for their continued support.'