As promised, your Local Association wrote to the Vice Chancellor urging him to support talks about the USS pension changes following the apparent softening of position by UUK (see below). Since then, formal talks have been scheduled. The USS ‘work to contract’ action is clearly working, but we need to continue with the pressure up. Please keep working to contract and publicising the dispute.
Here is the exchange:
18th October 2011
Dear Professor Cleary,
RE: Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS)
We are writing to you with regard to the recent changes imposed on the USS pension scheme. We do not need to rehearse the arguments leading up to the current position, but we note that Universities UK have recently stated that they “would welcome proposals for discussion from the UCU at its next meeting on 27 October”.
UCU members at the University of Bradford and elsewhere are currently working to contract as part of the dispute over changes to USS. There is a danger that this action could escalate if there is no progress towards talks. The University of Bradford UCU Local Association wishes to avoid this. A negotiated settlement is clearly the best outcome for all.
We are calling upon you as Vice Chancellor to support this more open stance by UUK, to put whatever pressure you can on UUK and the Employers’ Pension Forum to enter discussions with UCU and to call publicly for dialogue. It is only through dialogue and discussion that we will be able to move forward in this and any other matter.
The Committee of the University of Bradford UCU Local Association
Thank you for your letter of 18 October regarding changes in the USS Pension Scheme. I do understand the concerns of your members. Through UUK I shall continue to monitor the situation and to ensure that any opportunities for further dialogue and discussion are not lost.
Professor Mark Cleary
Vice-Chancellor and Principal