Humberside

Hull University staff to vote on strike over pension changes

University of Hull Image copyright University of Hull
Image caption The university says it's closing its final salary pension scheme for about 350 professional services and other support staff because of a rising deficit

Up to 350 workers at the University of Hull are to vote on whether to take industrial action in a row over changes to their pension scheme.

The university said it intended to close its final salary pension scheme because of a rising deficit and would offer an alternative.

Union Unison said the move, affecting professional services and other support staff, was "without justification".

Voting is expected to take place next month.

The union said closure of the current scheme would "create a two-tier system, with lecturers remaining on a more lucrative pension" while support and other staff faced "a reduction in their final pension payments".

Staff 'very angry'

Leonie Sharp, from Unison, said the university had seen "a growth in income of £4.2m during the last financial period with a drop in staffing costs of £900,000".

"The university is trying to argue they can't afford the pension scheme, but they clearly can.

"What they are doing is totally unfair, unreasonable and unacceptable and we will take what action is necessary to make them reconsider their decision.

"It is totally unfair to slash the benefits of hard working support staff. Reducing the pensions on which they rely for a reasonable retirement, and which they have all paid into in good faith, is a direct attack on our members and they are very angry."

In a statement, the university said it had made "significant improvements" to its original proposal after a staff consultation.

It also said the pensions of retired workers would not be affected by the changes.

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