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UK university staff strike over pension changes – live

Mike Ciavarella's picture

See here.  Or here In comparison, our "italian strike" where we only omit 1 session of exams was much less dramatic. 

It will be interesting to follow the UK strike, because I would be surprised if so many academics let such significant part of salary be reduced.

But certainly this pension change has raised a number of problems also with students and the high fees.  Corbin had already received large support in the last election with his idea of cutting fees, like today in Italy President Grasso and his new party is suggesting.

In UK the situation is dramatic, so this explains the large and unprecedented strike.   If you write to any staff in strike you will receive this message.

I am off work becasue I am participating in the longest ever strike in the hisotry of higher education, to protect our pensions from unneccessary reform that will make us lose40% of our pension on retirement. Please support UK academics and related staff by emailing the VCs of prior 1992 universities in the UK. Read more at -are-taking-action-over-USS





Thank you for your message. I am away from email until Friday 2 March.

I am supporting the UCU strike action because University employers want to end guaranteed pension benefits so our future pensions accrual would depend entirely on how the stock market performs with no guaranteed return at all. That means huge uncertainty and a reduced retirement income.

The University and College Union (UCU) has repeatedly tried to negotiate with employers to no avail. At the University of Exeter, 92.6% of UCU members voting supported this strike in a legal ballot. More

This is a last resort, and I apologise for any inconvenience caused. I will not be replying to emails during strike days. Please re-send any vitally important emails on the next non-strike day, marking them as urgent. I will do my very best to deal with those messages on Friday 2 March; if I do not manage to answer your query that day, I will try to get to it the following Friday or, failing that, in the week after the strike ends. Please bear with me as I work through what will no doubt be an enormous backlog (bear in mind that I work part-time, so this will take a while).

Thank you for your support.


Best wishes,



Mike Ciavarella's picture

The draft is here.

I hope that the UK example sets the scene for the dramatic problems in european universities, uncertain between the very liberal US model, and the classical state-based European model.

All italians, especially in UK, are welcome to give us suggestions for the new petition.  Please contact me privately at


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