Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield University staff in strike threat on pensions

Some 2,000 staff at the University of Sheffield are considering strike action over proposed pension changes.

Unison, which represents cleaners, porters, caterers and clerical staff at the university, is balloting members.

It claimed the lowest paid workers would see their pensions halved under the changes.

The university said rising costs and low take-up had raised questions about the pension scheme's "affordability and sustainability".

'Pretty angry'

However, Unison regional manager Alan Hughes said Sheffield University was saving money "at the expense of its lowest paid staff".

He said that in an attempt to tackle its pension deficit, the university was switching its lowest paid workers on to a cash benefit scheme which would leave them with less of a pension on retirement.

"If you've been paying into a pension fund all your working life and you're suddenly told what you [were] expecting is going to be halved, you're going to be pretty angry," Mr Hughes added.

"What we're hoping to do is bring the university to a standstill... we think students will see we have a just cause here."

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