University employees in the UK are considering a strike over a proposed pension cut, the Guardian reports.
It adds that 76 percent of University and College Union members who voted were in favor of a strike, while 88 percent were in favor of an action falling short of a strike. "These results are a clear mandate for strike action over pension cuts and should be heard loud and clear by university employers," Jo Grady, the UCU's general secretary, tells the Guardian. It adds that there is to be a separate vote on pay and working conditions.
The pension issue, the Guardian notes, stems from changes being made to the Universities Superannuation Scheme, a private pension plan in the UK whose members include researchers, lecturers, and other higher education employees. As the Financial Times reported earlier this week, a "health check" of the pension program in March 2020 uncovered a £14 billion to £18 billion (US $18 billion to $24 billion) shortfall. Cuts to plan members' benefits have since been proposed to make up the gap, it said.
FT added that, in addition to the UCU vote, a group of academics is also pursuing legal action to prevent the cuts as well as speed the pension plan's divestment of fossil fuels.