A large number of UCL academics have yesterday started a large scale strike lasting for many weeks. These people are sacrificing their salary [UCL will cut their pay down] and there is a strong support for the strike. The strike is organised on the premises that our employer, UCL, are? cutting down their pension contributions or ending guaranteed income schemes and replacing by those which are more like investments, without guaranteed returns. How interesting.
So why I am not on strike?
I definitely do not support UCL cutting down their contributions, and do I do not think that UCL management are our friends and have good intentions or that they do ever care about people who work here. Or I do not wish to see UCL giving money back to disappointed students.
However I am against this strike in particular, on ideological grounds.
I do NOT support the main idea in this strike. In fact I do not support our pension schemes at all. It is quite naive to believe that generous pensions are our friend. I believe that employers and governments should spend money on creating new positions for senior people (e.g. emeritus professor positions) rather than on pensions. Offering employees generous pension benefits is nice isn’t it? Or is it about trying to get rid of them? I believe that most current pension systems are perverse, stupid and need reform. They are about ejecting people from social and economic niches or positions which they occupy, under the pretext that they are old. We are offered some income or compensation, if we retire. Is it a gift, a bribe or a trap? Retirement is not necessarily a good thing: people who retire early seem to live shorter lives. I am against spending lots of money on pensions which redistribute money between generations. I think that we need to give older people more than just money: dignity, freedom, power, and ability to remain active contributors to the economy and the society.