Dear UCU member
Many thanks to all those members who attended yesterday’s meeting to discuss the USS dispute. Over 80 people attended – several more sent apologies. The largest UCU members’ meeting for many years.
A short report of the meeting, including the text of motions passed, is available here – www.uonucu.org
The main points are that both motions presented to members were passed overwhelmingly.
The first motion rejected the proposals that have emerged from the latest negotiations. Acting on this clear guidance the branch committee is urging members to vote NO in the e-ballot. This is a matter for individual members and we urge all members to vote on this vital issue (deadline Monday 26th January). However branch policy is to recommend rejection because:
- Despite improvements, the proposed cuts to pensions remain substantial (typically around 20%)
- The proposals abandon final salary pensions
- The proposals concede the principal of a 100% Defined Benefits scheme. Acceptance of a hybrid model represents an immediate deterioration in provision whilst also making it easier to increase the Defined Contribution element longer term.
The meeting also voted to call on the National Executive to convene a Higher Education Sector Conference to decide strategy in light of the unacceptable outcomes that have emerged from negotiations. If 20 branches submit this request then the NEC is obliged to call such a conference.
The branch has gone to considerable lengths to present the arguments, debate the issues and determine our policy collectively. The decisions of the meeting were unambiguous and reflect the strength of member opinion. The branch will now communicate these views to the National Executive and urge the union to develop strategy accordingly.
UCU Branch Committee