On Friday 27th November the Joint Trades Unions (UNITE & UNISON) for support staff at Bangor University called a protest demonstration against the proposal by Senior Management to cut the pensions of Support Staff (BUPAS) whilst increasing the University’s contributions to their own pension scheme. This proposed cut would reduce the pensions of Support Staff by an estimated 40%, taking it to less than a state pension.
Sean Dalton, Bangor Socialist Party
James H Clarke, Branch Secretary of the Unite Bangor University Branch, said “Management’s disgraceful behaviour is both unfair and inequitable. This is a case of the powerful attacking the less powerful and constitutes a dereliction of duty by Senior Management in respect of their obligation to look after the welfare and well-being of those whom they are responsible.”
Over 300 staff and students attended the protest showing a strong united front against the cuts to the pension. It was announced that further negotiations were to take place and that Senior Management had already backed down on one attack to the pension; however, Unite and Unison said they were committed to pushing for retention of the final salary pension scheme. They also stated that this was only the first step and that more protests and possibly industrial action may be necessary to force management back.
Bangor Socialist Party held stalls in the run up to the protest to help build support for the protest. Our bilingual placards on the protest carried the slogans, “VC gets pay rise. Staff get pension cuts,” and, “No Fees, No Cuts, No Closures. Fully Fund University Education!” We sold 21 papers in the run-up to the protest and on the day itself and are trying to strengthen the links of Socialist Students with the campus trade unions.
More photos (nb. i couldn't fit the whole protest in, on the last photo the protest actually curls round to the left)