Stunned workers at a major academic publishing company have reacted angrily to being told their pay will be frozen forever if they do not sign a drastically reduced pension deal.
Cambridge University Press has told publishing staff that their pensions will no longer be linked to their final salaries, but to their salaries of 1 October this year. Employees were informed that if they did not give their consent to the new deal, they would never receive another pay rise.
A group of angry workers has lodged a grievance with the company, and trade union Amicus has reported the organisation to the Pensions Regulator for failing to consult with staff.
The union said Cambridge University Press “had replaced meaningful consultation with blackmail”.
Amicus national officer, Ann Field, said: “We are advising workers not to sign this deal. The absolute refusal to consult stands out as extremely harsh treatment.
“I’ve never come across management expecting its employees to sign a pensions deal or never receive a pay rise again.”
Workers and the union are hoping for a prompt response from the Pensions Regulator, but Field said: “We are not banking on a legal remedy. However, we think this is such an outrageous case that we will keep on fighting.”
Cambridge University Press insisted the changes to its pension scheme were necessary, and that it was on the right side of the law.
Chief financial officer at the publishing company, Steve Miller, said: “The solution eventually chosen did not require formal consultation procedures with Amicus. Indeed, management was concerned that such processes might have created false expectations of another approach which would not have met the business’ financial objectives.”