Scientists join in protests against pension cutbacks

PUBLISHED: 10:47 01 December 2011

Rothamsted Research Centre, Harpenden.  Strike 301111.

Rothamsted Research Centre, Harpenden. Strike 301111.

Archant

IT’S been three decades since their last strike, but that did not stop scientists at a Harpenden research centre from downing microscopes, petri dishes and imaging machines to join yesterday’s national day of action.

Scientists attended a picket outside Rothamsted Research as professional civil servants from more than 120 organisations joined forces with others in the public sector striking against the Government’s pension changes.

Julian Franklin, chairman of Prospect, a union representing scientists and others in areas such as agriculture and the environment, said that picketing staff appreciated Harpenden motorists who tooted their support.

He added: “Pensions are one of the elements that staff do get upset about, because it’s something that is going to affect them at the end of their working life.

“Scientists do not get paid huge salaries, so they want to live comfortably when they retire.”

He said the picket was being held for the first time in 32 years to allow scientists to express their feelings about the government’s implementation of planned cuts in pension provision.

Mr Franklin, head of horticulture at Rothamsted, added: “Prospect has tried to reach an agreement and has only reluctantly balloted for strike action.”

Rothamsted is the longest running agricultural research station in the world, providing cutting-edge science and innovation for nearly 170 years.

About 400 scientists work at the Harpenden-based centre.

While around half of the staff turned up to work yesterday, others either supported the strike or stayed home to look after children who were unable to attend school because of teacher walk-outs.

If you value what this gives you, please consider supporting our work. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Nature Notes

Friday, February 14, 2020

One of the great delights of walking with wildlife in mind is the expectation of the unexpected. It’s a continual treasure hunt filled with familiarity of the regular encounters, the reassurance of seasonal returns and then, every now and again, something unexpected: a little find that rewards and, of course, reinvigorates the hunt (and the hunter!).

Read more

Guided Walks

A selection of walk around the theme of parks within the county

Read more
Photo Galleries

Photo Galleries

Photo Galleries: Send in your images

Farming

Thursday, April 2, 2020

“Hertfordshire farmers, we are here and we are keen to do what we can to help!”

Read more

Most Read

Latest from the Herts Advertiser