Dear Stephen

Letter of support from Labour group for UCU defence of University pensions

I hope you are well.

I am writing to share the position of the Labour Group of Councillors on Cambridge City Council who have unanimously agreed to provide their support for UCU defence of University pensions. They also wish me to point out that the Labour Group look forward to the promised change to the position taken by the University of Cambridge over this issue to date.
Our support for the current industrial action reflects our concern that Universities including the University of Cambridge are proposing a move from defined benefits to defined contributions that would cause significant erosion to the benefits members expect when they retire.
We are sure you are aware that the active support for the strike by members of the university is not something that has happened lightly, and it has strong support within the wider community as well as in the University and colleges. We are equally sure that many staff that have not taken industrial action also support those colleagues and are just as concerned about cuts to pensions. We hope you recognise that their lack of action is unlikely to be because they are happy with the proposed change to their pension.  The divisions caused, including between staff, will in outcome likely damage staff relations, the culture in the workplace and the success and reputation of the University of Cambridge.
As Vice-Chancellor you rightly play a key role in the national scene and also play a strong leadership role locally. We hope and trust that you will recognise the damage these changes are bringing to the pension scheme in Cambridge and will work to ‘reinstate’ the status quo.
Yours sincerely
Councillor Martin Smart
Labour Group Secretary
Cambridge City Council
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