Thu 12 May, 2022

Scottish Greens North East Scotland MSP Maggie Chapman will lead a debate in the Scottish Parliament today calling for action to support striking university staff.

University staff across Scotland are taking part in industrial action over pension cuts, as well as falling pay, gender and ethnicity pay gaps, precarious employment practices and unsafe workloads.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Maggie Chapman MSP said:

“University staff pensions are being slashed by an average of 35%. This cut is based on a valuation of the pension scheme that took place at the height of the pandemic, which identified nearly £80million deficit in the scheme.

“However, this deficit no longer exists: the scheme itself has reported assets increasing to over £88billion. But, if the cut goes ahead, it will be Scottish Government money – public money – being used to plug the shortfall from that outdated valuation. The health of the pension fund has recovered substantially, so much so that a new valuation would likely result in pensions being increased, rather than cut.

“This sorry situation shows how broken the UK private pension system is and makes the case for radical change.

“Interestingly, the University of Glasgow has indicated a willingness to engage with the UCU to avert strike action. It’s vital this happens across the country, and hard-working university staff get what they deserve.”

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