Talks are due to start between the UCU union and the employers this month over proposed changes to university lecturers’ USS pension scheme.
Lecturers in older universities are part of the scheme.
The talks are unlikely to lead to any agreement due to the hard line adopted by the employers. But activists need to resist any concessions made by the union.
In the meantime, our work to contract continues and support for the planned strike on 30 November grows.
The work to contract is having an impact. The campaign has highlighted the fact that workers face pay cuts while the salaries of senior managers are rising.
An “us and them” attitude is developing among academic and related staff.
Activists need to build on members’ anger to mobilise for the 30 November strike and connect with the growing campaign to defend education.
We also need to link the fight for pensions with the fight for jobs. At Leeds the university has provocatively announced a “redundancy committee” to sack two academic staff, the first such action since the 1990s.