University of Dundee industrial action over pensions

UNISON members at the University of Dundee will take further industrial action from Monday 25th October as they seek to persuade their employer to continue to offer fair pensions to all its employees.

They will be joined on the picket lines for the first time by members of the Unite union as well as the University and College Union.

All members will strike on Monday and Tuesday, while selective action will continue in Libraries, security and the mail for the next fortnight and finance for the next week.

UNISON Branch Secretary Phil Welsh said:

“We met with the Principal on Tuesday to set up a framework to negotiate a reformed Defined Benefit option. Unfortunately he continues to prefer pushing ahead with an inferior Defined Contribution scheme and insist that any alternative must fit within a “cost and risk envelope” which has never been shared with us”.

“We have not detected any genuine change of heart from the University regarding its proposals which would slash retirement incomes for our members and leave them bearing all the risks of any investment shortfalls.”

“We presented the new framework to members on Wednesday, and they emphatically rejected the proposal- 96.4% of members rejected a Defined Contribution scheme”.

Speaking in Belfast, UNISON’s General Secretary Christina McAnea, described the University’s approach as “absolutely appalling” and said she felt “incredibly proud” of the action being taken by members at the University.

The upcoming strike dates for UNISON are as follows:
All Members – 25 and 26 October – 2 days (with Unite and affected UCU members)

Selected Members as follows:
Finance – 27, 28, 29 October and 1 and 2 November
Libraries, Security, Mail Room – 27 October to 9 November
Unite will be keeping all their members out on strike beyond 26 October.

This is what UNISON needs in any agreement to suspend industrial action, and this has been communicated to the university.
1. Withdrawal of the defined contribution proposal
2. Detailed joint work on defined benefit alternatives
3. A UEG and Court decision at the end of joint work on defined benefit alternatives

Further information:
Steve McLellan, Area Organiser, UNISON Tayside, 07977 409860