Following the ballot for industrial action relating to the attacks on the USS pension scheme the Students’ Union is undertaking a ‘referendum’ amongst its members. The question presented is ‘Should the SU oppose the use of marking boycotts by academics?‘
UCU supports the right of SU members to determine policy through democratic means although we question whether at this time in the negotiations between UCU and UUK this is the most sensible course of action. It is our understanding that current SU officers have been tied to the referendum by a decision taken by the SU last year.
UCU at Nottingham is committed to working with the SU and we recently held a very productive meeting with current SU officers. Much of the time was spent discussing the USS dispute and the industrial action that might follow. SU officers were not in a position to support UCU action, but our feeling was that the meeting was constructive and productive. We are committed to maintaining this dialogue.
Clearly we hope that if industrial action becomes necessary then the SU, and Nottingham students generally, will support our action. We make no apologies – we are fighting for our pensions. But we genuinely believe that the fight for our pensions is in the best interests of the university community more widely. For example, maintaining staff morale, recruiting high quality people into academia and defending the principle of a job with a decent pension are all issues that have huge implications for students.
If you are student reading this – we ask for your support.
Our fight really is your fight.
We have set out our views in a leaflet – download it here – UCU student leaflet 2014