Vince Cable urges govt to intervene in university strikes
Lib Dem leader Vince Cable has called on the government to support lecturers’ pensions and bring and end to their ongoing strike.
Tens of thousands of lecturers across 57 institutions staged two days of walkouts this week, largely over changes to their pension schemes.
Mr Cable said the government should underwrite the universities superannuation scheme, guaranteeing their pensions.
Proposed changes would switch lecturers’ pensions from a defined benefit to a defined contribution scheme, leaving them potentially up to £10,000 worse off in retirement.
In a letter to the universities minister, Sam Gyimah, Sir Vince said: "Lecturers are not well paid; the reward for their hard work has largely been in the form of relatively generous packages, including a defined benefit pension.
"There is a large deficit of around £6-7.5bn in the scheme, so some work clearly needs to be done to bring this down urgently.
"However, this does not necessitate the drastic action being taken - particularly given there are question marks over how the deficit has been calculated - notably a shift of the risk burden on to employees."