Pension tensions (3 of 3)

April 7, 2011

I recently obtained a doctorate in contemporary French history, but the prospects look bleak for this "zero-hours contract" tutor. With 40,000 posts forecast to go in the sector, what career is now possible in the jobs desert?

The only glimmer of hope apparent for the likes of me lies in events such as the UCU's one-day strike on 24 March and the Trades Union Congress' demonstration on 26 March.

I may not have an academic post, much less an accumulated pension, but I can recognise the importance of defending final-salary schemes: they are a key attraction of the job. But they will not benefit people like me directly unless we can win an agreement that stops swingeing redundancies.

Having spent years fighting to complete my research, I'm not easily going to give up the career that originally motivated me. I want a job, ideally in the university and department where I trained as a scholar. I am at a loss to understand why any society would treat that ambition as unreasonable.

Manus McGrogan, University of Portsmouth

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