UCU senior branch officers met on Friday of last week to outline a plan for industrial action. Ballot results for action in defence of the USS pension scheme are expected on Wednesday.
The scheme applies to the pre-92 universities. Votes are anticipated for strikes and action short of a strike.
The union is focusing on an initial work to contract and work to rule starting in October. This could lead to strikes coordinated with those of the bigger public sector unions—the NUT, Unite, Unison and GMB—in November.
Delegates spoke about the serious mood for industrial action in branches and the determination of members that action should have a maximum impact.
Striking is crucial—it allows members to unite and provides a means to unite with students. Most delegates also recognised the need to link our fight over pensions with that of the wider public sector, and rejected calls for narrowing our dispute to be about the USS scheme only.
We need to locate the defence of pensions in the struggle to defend education and win student support.
A delegate from one of the larger branches argued that our action should “begin with a bang, not a whimper” and was applauded for calling for a one-day strike to start the action on 3 October.