University lecturers walk out on strike

Striking Sunderland University lecturers who are members of the University & College Union picketing at St. Peters campus in November
Striking Sunderland University lecturers who are members of the University & College Union picketing at St. Peters campus in November
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LECTURERS are to join civil servants on the picket lines.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU), Unite and the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) are staging walkouts across Wearside and County Durham tomorrow as part of a national day of action.

It follows the national strike day in November last year – the biggest since the 1920s – in the row over public sector pensions.

Disruption is expected at Sunderland University and Sunderland College, as well as public service buildings including job centres, pension and benefit centres, courts, customs and tax offices.

These will include the revenue and customs offices in Washington and Sunderland, as well as the land registry and the passport offices in Durham City.

The three unions will hold a rally at Grey’s Monument, Newcastle at 1pm.

The day of action, which will be followed by another in June, is the unions’ response to Government proposals on pensions, which hey claim will mean civil servants, health workers and lecturers will have to pay more into their pensions every month and work up to eight years longer for a lower pension on retirement.

Steve Storey, branch chairman of the UCU at Sunderland University, said: “It is an ongoing dispute, they are asking us to pay more and to work longer.

“The moves are not going to affect people who are due for retirement soon, but it is the people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, who are going to suffer.

“A lot of lecturers, like myself, are going on strike and sacrificing a day of pay to protect the pensions of people in the future.”

Steve said the Government keeps saying people are living too long, but that does not seem to affect the pensions of MPs, which he claims are among the best in the country.

Gary Clark, branch secretary of the PCS at HMRC in Washington, said: “There will be picket lines from first thing in the morning. There should be a big turnout at Water View Park.

“For the previous action, which took place in November, there was an exceptionally good turnout.”

Twitter: @sunechoschools