You will have seen the General Secretary’s email yesterday concerning the very disappointing news about Universities UK’s decision to push ahead with cuts to our pensions. If you are anything like me you will have found this news devastating. Be clear: Universities UK are refusing to explore alternative proposals put forward by UCU, and are refusing to take any more time to consult – they are not prepared to countenance even a small increase in contributions and are refusing to strengthen the covenant support which USS says that it needs. For us, who have committed so much and worked so hard over an impossible year, and have another equally impossible year ahead of us, this is another outrageous insult. You can find more explanation here, as well as in the General Secretary’s email.
Whilst UCU will continue to push for a reversal of this week’s decision the fact is that Universities UK have knowingly pushed us into a place where industrial action is the only remaining option for us and we need to plan and prepare for it. I encourage all members to attend the mass online event this Friday from 1-2 – sign up here – this is for all members, not just committees or officers or reps.
You will also be aware that we have a Higher Education Special Sector Conference on our disputes next Thursday 9th September, which your branch delegates will be attending. You can find the agenda, with all motions, here – and I encourage you to have a look at it. The motion we passed at our Extraordinary General Meeting on 20th August is on the agenda. You will see that some motions take similar positions, whilst one motion takes a different position – delegates will be doing all we can to put forward strong arguments for our branch position. In voting on other motions, delegates will be led by branch policy, the local motion we passed on 20th August (here, but also a motion passed on 22nd April 2021 here all of which make clear our determination to fight against pension cuts and for fair pay, secure contracts, equality and safe workloads – all of these issues matter. The short time frames given to us around these meetings mean that we do not have time for further meetings, but I would encourage everyone to look at the motions and share any views with us, particularly as to the detail, bearing in mind that delegates first and foremost have to vote in line with branch policy as expressed at general meetings.
Text from email from branch president Chloe Wallace to members Thursday 2 September 2021, which was delayed because of problems with a university IT system.
This page was last updated on 8 September 2021