We sent an email recently to a number of non-UCU members, whom we believed to be members of the USS pension scheme. It was our hope that we did this with a good degree of accuracy, and would apologise unreservedly to anyone who received the email who was not in those constituencies.
Do we have the right to do this? Yes, the provisions of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act (1992) are understood to mean we should be permitted to contact all employees in our constituency, and the employer should facilitate that contact.
In this case, on 3 October a request was made to the University for the union to have access to an email list of USS members. We later requested instead that we simply hand over a message to be forwarded by the University, using a distribution list, to all members of the USS pension scheme. Neither route was facilitated. We therefore had to take the option of contacting you by creating a distribution list manually. There was no small effort involved.
In reality, we very rarely contact non-members, and have no plans to do so again. We felt that the importance of the issue at hand – the detriment to a healthy pension scheme – was significant enough to put in that effort and make that contact.
If you are unhappy about the union’s decisions in this regard, or wish to discuss it, please do contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org