Why we are striking: the key issues

Following the recent ballot results, UCU is asking you to support strike action called for Tuesday 22nd March (on USS changes) and Thursday 24th March (on USS changes and job security). Below we set out the key issues:

What is the attack on my USS pension?

The employers are trying to change the Universities Superannuation Scheme. They have proposed a series of h ighly detrimental changes, including introducing a two-tier pension benefit scheme. This would mean that new starters and those with career breaks would be condemned to a vastly inferior Career Average Scheme. UCU has no principled objection to a career average scheme but we believe that this is round one of the employers’ offensive. If we let them introduce such a vastly inferior scheme then it won’t be long before they try and impose it on existing members. These employers’ current proposals have been overwhelmingly rejected by USS members in two online polls run by UCU.

  • For information on the impact of the employers’ proposals click here
  • For a summary of the arguments supporting the strike click here

What are the issues over job security and pay?

UCU has proposed a national framework of principles that would guide any local negotiations over proposed redundancies. These would include:

  • ensuring early consultation with UCU before formal proposals are a reality
  • fully disclosing financial information
  • improved minimum procedures for consultation with staff when proposals are made
  • a proper supported redeployment system for all staff, including researchers
  • the right to access regional or national redeployment between institutions

We also submitted a pay claim that would protect our members’ pay from real terms erosion, improve pay for hourly-paid lecturers as well as making progress on equal pay.

The employers have refused to discuss any national principles for job security with us. They have also stuck to their 0.4% pay offer at a time when inflation has risen to 5%. This is a pay cut.

More information on the claim and negotiations can be found here

Keep up-to-date with the action and FAQs about the campaign by bookmarking the UCU  HE Action 2011 website available here

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