Lecturers strike to say ‘hands off our pensions’

Reporter:

Garth ApThomas

LECTURERS who took part in a one-day national strike against proposed changes to their pensions said they were pleased with the response from the Wrexham public.

Picket lines organised by the University and College Union (UCU) were set up at centres including Glyndwr University and Yale College yesterday. Yale said classes ran as normal but Glyndwr declined to comment on the disruption.

Steve Byrne, chairman of UCU at Glyndwr, said: “The picket has been going very well. We have been handing out leaflets highlighting the attack on our pensions.

“We have talked to many people explaining the situation and a good number of them have turned around rather than go across the picket line.

“If you look at the car park there are plenty of spaces empty – normally it is absolutely packed. And motorists driving along the road have tooted their horns as an indication of support for us.

“I must stress this strike is not action against the students or the university, it is being held nationally to help defend the right to a fair pension.”

Yale UCU spokesman Bob Scholey said: “We don’t take this action lightly. In the long term this will help to defend the standards of education, encouraging high quality lecturers to remain in the profession. We have been getting a very sympathetic response from the public.”

A Yale College spokesman said: “Our classes are running normally as planned and our bus services, learning resource centre, refectory and learner support services are unaffected.”

On Wednesday Glyndwr issued a statement expressing disappointment that UCU had decided to take industrial action.

Glyndwr stressed it was a national dispute which could only be settled through negotiation between the unions and the UK government and pledged to ensure any disruption to students as a result of the strike was minimised.

- ANGRY lecturers at Deeside College also staged a walk-out over cuts to their pensions.

Members of Deeside’s University and College Union (UCU) branch took part in the national day of action with education chiefs saying the action had “minimal” disruption.

John Moore, vice-chairman of the UCU branch, said: “Our protest is against the Westminster government, not the college.”

See full story in the Leader

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