United Kingdom university strikes to continue as UCU rejects pension deal

United Kingdom university strikes to continue as UCU rejects pension deal

United Kingdom university strikes to continue as UCU rejects pension deal

Bangor University staff will remain on strike after a proposed deal to settle the dispute over pensions was rejected by The University and College Union (UCU) today.

But the union's higher education committee and branch representatives will have to agree to the deal today before any future strike action is suspended. "This followed a very well-attended meeting of representatives from USS branches".

President of the Oxford UCU branch, Garrick Taylor, told Cherwell: "The overwhelming feedback from members (over 250 emails) was that we should reject the deal".

The University and College Union (UCU) and Universities UK (UUK) have agreed a revised benefit reform proposal for pensions.

The motion to oppose the proposed agreement was brought to the HEC by the vice-president of Cambridge UCU, Dr Sam James, who represented the branch.

The petition continues, "Furthermore, the UCU is effectively calling on us to both reschedule as well as calling off the action before having put it to the membership, two positions that are absolutely unacceptable".

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The UCU has called for further urgent negotiations with the UUK following the withdrawal.

Union leaders said that they would now make "detailed preparations" for 14 days of strikes to be held during the exam period of May and June.

Last week, the union said that universities would be hit with a second wave of 14 strike days targeted at exams and assessment if the dispute was not resolved. UUK added, "we have engaged extensively with UCU negotiators to find a mutually acceptable way forward".

"We have recognised concerns about the valuation and have agreed to convene an independent expert valuation group".

Durham University academics will enter the twelfth day of strikes tomorrow and will continue to picket for the rest of the week over controversial changes to their pension schemes. The agreement retains defined benefit pension schemes for staff at a lower income threshold of £42,000, increases employer and employee contributions 1.3% and 0.7% respectively, and calls for both sides to "engage in meaningful discussions" to explore the possibility of the risk-sharing scheme of Collective Defined Contributions (CDC).

The rejection came after academics and individual branches of the UCU condemned the final deal as "a huge betrayal of our sacrifice", with nearly 10,000 people having signed an open letter criticising the UCU leadership's negotiated position at the time of writing.

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