University lecturers go on strike

By Jess Clayton-Berry

ANGRY Essex University Academics have taken to picketing outside the university entrances to fight for their pension rights.

The first day of a month-long pension strike by members of the University and College Union (UCU) began on the 22nd of February, which sees pickets placed outside university entrances, encouraging others to join in the protest.

The need to take such action has arisen after pension fund manager, Universities UK (UUK), proposed changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) that the Union believes could leave lecturers having up to £10,000 a year taken off in their retirement pension.

According to the UCU, younger academics are due to be even worse off, potentially losing 53% of their pensions.

University of Essex lecturers have joined 61 other universities currently striking over the dispute in a bid to make university heads negotiate a better deal.

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MEP warns Anglian Water on pensions

Alex Meyer, MEP for East of England

By HK Norman

East of England MEP Alex Mayer is set to issue a warning to bosses at Anglian Water on Monday, criticising the planned closures to staff pension schemes.

The firm has announced the closure of their “Defined Benefits” pension scheme and further changes to their “Defined Contributions” scheme, which will affect 5,000 employees at Anglian Water.

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Family fundraise for facial palsy

By Jacob Ottaway

An Ipswich family have teamed up to fundraise money for the charity Facial Palsy UK, and have already made half of their £1000 target, with 9 months to go. The Reid family, from the Stoke Park area of Ipswich, are comprised of Paul and Kim, with their daughters Aimee (now Stannard) and Chloe. Chloe, 18, is all too familiar with Facial Palsy; a condition that usually entails the weakening or paralysis of muscles in one side of the face, isn’t exactly uncommon, with roughly 20,000 people a year being affected by Bell’s Palsy – the most common type of Facial Palsy.

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Women-only swimming makes a splash

By Kai Wei Cheng

Over 50 people showed up in full support of the women’s only swimming sessions at Colchester Leisure World on Sunday the 11th of February.

Members of the Colchester Citizens Alliance- the local branch of Citizens UK who organises communities to act together for power, social justice and the common good- gathered the supporters right before the front doors to Colchester Leisure World (CLW) where they campaigned for truly women’s only swim sessions.

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