Members’ meeting – 19th January

Dear UCU member

You will have heard from the union about the latest developments in the dispute about our pensions. The union is about to e-ballot individual members on the latest proposals. We have been told that the union believes these outcomes are the best that can be achieved within current negotiations, ie if members want more then they will have to see if this can be secured through industrial action.

You will be aware that individual members are being invited to participate in an online ballot to accept or reject what is on offer.

The local branch has a members’ meeting organised for this Monday (19th January). The full details are:

1-2pm, Monday 19th January
Room A40, Clive Granger Building

We are delighted to have National UCU President, Liz Lawrence, as our main speaker.

At this stage 2 motions have been presented to the Committee, and will be tabled at the meeting

1. Motion to recommend rejection of the offer – Vote NO at the e-ballot

This UCU branch believes that the current ‘potential agreement’ offer represents a major cut in pensions. The offer accepts the parameters of the huge projected deficit, and cuts pensions to fill this gap. As well as ending Final Salary, it concedes the principle of a Defined Contribution element for contributions over £55,000 that allows the Employer to cut their contributions to 12%, provides members with no certainty about the value of their pension and paves the way for future concessions.

This UCU branch therefore calls on all members to vote No at the e-ballot to reject the offer, and to demand HEC officers call hard-hitting industrial action to win the dispute.
2. Motion to call for a HESC

This UCU branch supports the call for the requisition of a Special HE Sector Conference under rule 16.10 to debate the campaigns to defend pensions in HE, and to defend the capacity of the UCU to call industrial action short of a strike as part of those campaigns.
At the meeting both these motions will be tabled and each which will be presented and seconded by individual members. It will be possible for members to table amendments, and of course both of the substantive motions will be voted on. Branch policy can only be determined if the meeting is quorate.

Individual members will have the final say on union policy in the e-ballott. However, the branch committee believes that this is such an important issue that the branch collectively should take a decision and recommend this to individual branch members.

We understand that the e-ballot will determine union policy. However, as a union we value collective decision making and hence we are taking the steps that we are, to both encourage debate and to promote a collective response. This is why the meeting on Monday is so important, and why we are urging members to attend.

In what ever way we proceed as a union in this dispute, our collective action will be stronger for having engaged as many members as possible in the debate. and for having taken decisions involving the mass of our membership. That means that whatever ‘the union’ decides, we have all taken our individual responsibility to determine that outcome. That is why we would be delighted to see you at the meeting – to hear the arguments, and to democratically decide branch policy.

I very much hope you will be able to attend Monday’s meeting.

Best wishes

Howard Stevenson
University of Nottingham UCU, President.

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