Barking and Dagenham College staff stage strike over pension changes

Barking and Dagenham College lecturers have joined a nation wide strike over planned changes to their pensions.

One hundred and thirty staff, all members of the University and College Union (UCU), staged a walkout today, with around 50 picketing the front gates of the college in Dagenham Road, Rush Green.

UCU members from across the UK are protesting against a government report which recommends a series of changes to public sector pensions.

If the proposals are implemented workers would pay more into their pension pots each month, the retirement age would rise from 60 to 66, and final salary schemes would be scrapped in favour of a pay-out based on average pay over a worker’s career.

John Whitworth, UCU Branch secretary, said: “For decades college lecturers have accepted pay levels that are lower than comparably skilled professions, partly because we had a pension scheme that provided for a fair and decent retirement.

“Now all that is at risk because of the government’s proposed changes.”

He said many students supported their protest.