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YAS responds to Universities Superannuation Scheme dispute

The RSE Young Academy of Scotland have issued a response to the dispute between the University and College Union and Universities UK regarding reforms to the Universities Superannuation Scheme.

YAS welcomes the UUK’s openness to further talks beginning on Monday 5th March in response to new a new set of proposals from UCU. As representatives of a wider body of early- to mid-career staff that includes many academics, who will be disproportionately affected by the proposed reforms to the USS, we are concerned that the solution currently favoured by UUK is one that will most negatively affect the lowest paid University staff, in particular those in fixed-term positions and those with part-time contracts (mainly women). Because pension cuts disproportionally affect individuals who are already disadvantaged in many academic fields, particularly STEM, the proposed changes have the strong potential to contribute to gender and cultural inequality in academic institutions.

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Dr Guy Walker is an Associate Professor in the Institute for Infrastructure and Environment at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. His research specialism is human factors engineering and has been featured in national newspapers, TV and radio through to an appearance on the Discovery Channel.

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