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UCU decision to strike is well founded

There has been much comment about the decision by the national executive of the University and College Union (UCU) to reject the government's heads of agreement and to propose renewed industrial action starting with a one-day strike on 1 March. In talks since then with other "rejectionist" unions, an agreed coordinated strike date of 28 March is being mooted.

Our concerns are obvious - to defend members' pensions and living standards and not to sell the pass to younger teachers and lecturers and those coming into the profession. Our members continue to express their willingness to resist a retirement age of 68, 50 per cent increases in contributions, having to work years longer to get the same benefits and a 15-20 per cent reduction in payments through the shift from RPI to CPI.

These are the concerns that motivate members' anger. They have been overwhelmingly expressed in the vast majority of branch and regional meetings, most of which have voted to support the national executive's decision.

Laura Miles, Bradford College and UCU national executive.

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