Christ Church Students' Union and the recently formed CCSU Post Graduate Committee would like to express their support for the strike action at the University of Kent and many other universities across the country.
The representative organisation for the UK’s Universities (Universities UK) are proposing changes that would reduce the USS pensions for lecturers and academic-related staff by up to 40%, with the average lecturer estimated to lose £200,000 of their pension during retirement. This, on top of diminishing job security, below-inflation pay awards resulting in a 13-15% real-terms pay reduction over the last 10 years, and the average academic working an equivalent of two days every week unpaid. Meanwhile, many vice-chancellors and senior managers are receiving significant pay increases.
A fall in real wages and the proposed USS changes will leave lecturers anxious about their future, and when academic staff are demoralised, students are affected. Academia could become an unappealing profession and lose talent if the assault on wages and pensions continues. Universities are places for collaboration between teachers and students – and for this, solidarity is vital.
Staff do not want to strike, but Universities and Colleges Union members feel like they have been backed into this decision and there is no other choice. Strikers are not paid during this period and will lose more than 50% of their income this month by standing up for their beliefs and rights. Strikes do work, but only if we’re united. By supporting our colleagues we can help end the strike sooner and improve the lives of future academics and the experience of students.
Krum Tashev, CCSU Union President
Keli Jenner, Co-chair CCSU Post Graduate Committee
Emma Harvey, Co-Chair CCSU Post Graduate Committee
Peter Joyce, CCSU Postgraduate Officer
Lily Hawker-Yates, CCSU Post Graduate Committee member
Biba Chuta, CCSU President (Sports)
Jordan Howard, CCSU President (Education & Wellbeing)
Nick Beard, CCSU President (Student Activities)