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Cambridge University is considering its own pension scheme because strikes are causing 'anxiety in students'


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The University of Cambridge is considering implementing its own specific pension schemes after students expressed anxiety over the strikes. 

Cambridge staff are in the middle of a 14 days strike, set to take place over four weeks as they protest changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), which would see staff lose an average of £10,000 a year in pensions. However, UUK maintains that the current pension scheme is operating at a £6 billion deficit.

The strikes, which began on Thursday 22nd February, are the largest in the history of the UCU.

Cambridge’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, said that the university might consider introducing its own pension schemes. He published a statement urging the unions to end the dispute, adding that a compromise is needed to avoid further disruption for students.  

"The current situation cannot go on. It has, understandably, led to anger from staff and anxiety from students," he wrote.

"I, therefore, urge the parties to agree to a pragmatic solution to bring to an end the current dispute. Once this has been achieved we can focus on a long-term, sustainable solution which is in the best interests of the sector, the university and individual members of the USS."

Acas mediated talks between union representatives and employers are scheduled to take place today. 

Professor Toope stressed that there would be "serious obstacles" to introducing this scheme as it would involve trade-offs and cuts in other parts of the university.

 Featured article image courtesy of Robert Liow 

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