UCU and UUK reach agreement on pension dispute

UCU and UUK reach agreement on pension dispute

Strike action will continue at 65 United Kingdom universities after members of the University and College Union vetoed a deal struck by employers and union leaders on pension reform.

The UoN UCU statement also said that "the agreement appears to accept the marketisation of higher education and embeds the current approach to HE that has led to an unacceptable level of casualisation across the sector". "This position has been taken following online consultation, which received over 100 individual replies, and an Open Branch Committee meeting in which 150 members participated".

The University and College Union (UCU) and Universities UK (UUK) have agreed a revised benefit reform proposal for pensions.

But when it put the proposed deal to union members it was met with outrage. Warwick's UCU branch have stated that they will be opposing the deal.

The union has threatened a further 14 days of strikes, "designed to hit the exam and assessment periods between April and June".

Strikes will continue as planned this week and the examination period is under increasing threat of further disruption, after the University and College Union (UCU) rejected proposals to suspend strikes this evening.


The UUK spokesman said that university leaders "engaged extensively with UCU negotiators to find a mutually acceptable way forward". The jointly developed proposal on the table, agreed at Acas, addresses the priorities that UCU set out.

"We have listened to the concerns of university staff and offered to increase employer contributions to ensure that all members would receive meaningful defined benefits".

Members of staff at more than 60 universities across the country have been striking in protest at changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS). "Our hope is that UCU can find a way to continue to engage constructively, in the interests of students and those staff who are keen to return to work".

The agreement reached yesterday, in negotiations mediated by the conciliation service Acas, bridges certain elements of the existing USS framework and the changes proposed by UUK in January. There is also a commitment from both sides to reconvene for longer term discussions.

The rejection came after academics and individual branches of the UCU condemned the final deal as "a huge betrayal of our sacrifice", with nearly 10,000 people having signed an open letter criticising the UCU leadership's negotiated position at the time of writing.

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