Prof Mapstone stop the strike - side with your staff and students!
We the undersigned (staff and students in the School of Economics and Finance) are deeply concerned about the way the University is handling the pensions crisis following the breakdown of talks between Universities UK and the University and College Union.
We staff signatories find ourselves in the untenable position of being forced to choose between opposing the most draconian and unnecessary cuts in our terms of employment in living memory (cuts that will damage the quality of teaching, research, and learning for generations) and having to disrupt the studies of our students and the smooth running of our School.
We believe that in your capacity as Principal and Vice-Chancellor you have both the right and the responsibility of averting this totally unnecessary confrontation. You will be well aware that several reputable (and much larger!) institutions, such as Glasgow and Warwick Universities – to name but two – have argued that there is no need whatsoever for Universities UK to take the catastrophic step of jettisoning the whole concept of defined-benefits pensions. We ask you that you side with them and not with other institutions that follow an agenda contrary to the notion of Universities as communities of scholars and students.
A commitment on your part to work towards a resolution that does not involve changing the basis of the USS scheme (from defined benefits to defined contributions) would ensure that normal teaching and research activities would continue without disruption in our School during the negotiations between UUK and UCU.