UNISON at Sheffield University Vote Unanimously to Fight
The University of Sheffield branch of UNISON voted unanimously at their AGM to fight for the restoration of a decent pension for university support workers. The University of Sheffield has its own pension scheme which means the university is not part of national negotiations and therefore has totally control over what kind of pension people will get at the end of their working lives. What the university has chosen to do is impose the worst pension in Higher Education, far worse than the local government scheme that workers doing the same job just down the road at Sheffield Hallam University are members of. The new university of Sheffield pension scheme could pay members some 40% of what they had been expecting.
The University of Sheffield was recently named University of the Year by Times Higher Education but those support staff that helped make this possible now have the worst pension of any workers in higher education.
UNISON's AGM agreed that this was not an acceptable state of affairs and resolved to continue to campaign for a pension that would restore benefits similar to those the university recently took away. The way of achieving this that UNISON favours is membership of the SAUL pension scheme.
UNISON Regional Organiser Steve Torrance said:
"What the university have done with the pension scheme is a heartless, cynical manoeuvre the university claims it is all about reducing risk but the pensions of grades 1-5 represent a tiny proportion of the university's pension risk."
UNISON Branch Secretary Stuart Anderson said:
"This is morally repugnant, the people who made the decision should be ashamed of themselves. The University of Sheffield is not the bricks and mortar of the building, it is the people and when the university's leaders feels that is it right to push the lowest paid workers into pensions poverty it damages the institution as a whole. UNISON will not stay silent while its members and the good name of the university they work so hard for are degraded."