Socialist Worker

Higher education workers fight back

Issue No. 2654

UCU members fight to defend their USS pension scheme in 2018

UCU members fight to defend their USS pension scheme in 2018 (Pic: Guy Smallman)

University workers are furious at a new attack on their USS pension scheme. UCU union members at over 60 universities held 14 days of strikes last year to defend their pensions.

They had faced being forced to pay more into the scheme and getting much less in retirement.

Now the USS board that runs it has proposed three options for how to make changes. All involve workers paying higher contributions.

The union’s head of higher education, Paul Bridge, said the union has made “substantial progress”. But he said that none of the options represent a “No Detriment” outcome “which is the union’s policy position”.

This says that workers should not pay more and their benefits should not be reduced. At the UCU’s annual congress later this month, delegates will decide when members will be balloted on the final proposals.

London region UCU has called a lobby of talks between the UCU and bosses’ Universities UK.

Lobby the USS Joint Negotiating Committee—Friday 17 May, assemble from 9.30am, USS HQ, 60 Threadneedle St, London EC2

UCU union members at Winchester university have voted overwhelmingly for strikes to save jobs.

Bosses have threatened to impose compulsory redundancies on university workers

Some 80 percent of those voting backed strikes in a ballot and 93 percent supported action short of a strike.The turnout was 57.7 percent.

Other action could include boycotting open days and working to rule.

Bosses want to scrap 55 posts—around 10 percent of the workforce. Students held a demonstration last month over the cuts and have shown support for workers.

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