University strikes remain on as UCU rejects proposals

University strikes remain on as UCU rejects proposals

The University and College Union (UCU) has rejected a proposal drawn up at talks with Universities UK to end the university pensions strike.

UCU representatives met with Universities UK on 13 March, amid reports that a deal over plans to end the defined benefit element of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) had been struck.

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the union, said: “Branches made it clear today that they wanted to reject the proposal. UCU’s greatest strength is that we are run by and for our members and it is right that members always have the final say.”

“The strike action for this week remains on and we will now make detailed preparations for strikes over the assessment and exam period. We want urgent talks with the universities’ representatives to try and find a way to get this dispute resolved.”

Strikes and action short of a strike remain on, and the union is making detailed preparations for strikes over the assessment and exam period.

A Universities UK spokesperson said: “It is hugely disappointing that students’ education will be further disrupted through continued strike action. We have engaged extensively with UCU negotiators to find a mutually acceptable way forward. The jointly developed proposal on the table, agreed at ACAS, addresses the priorities that UCU set out.”

“We have listened to the concerns of university staff and offered to increase employer contributions to ensure that all members would receive meaningful defined benefits. We recognised concerns raised about the valuation and have agreed to convene an independent expert valuation group.”

“Our hope is that UCU can find a way to continue to engage constructively, in the interests of students and those staff who are keen to return to work.”

Categories: News, UK Pensions

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