Text from branch president Ben Plumpton’s email to members
If you pay into a USS pension you will have received an email today from the university’s pensions manager, informing you that your pension contribution will increase to 9.6% of your salary from 1 October 2019 until October 2021. This is up from the current 8.8% and the 8% that it was before the USS pensions dispute began. This will impact on your take-home pay, erasing any uplift from the inadequate 1.8% pay offer, and the increased contributions will do nothing to increase your projected pension.
The email from USS, forwarded by the university’s pensions manager, presents this as a decision of the Joint Negotiating Committee, but in reality the JNC was firmly split on the matter and it was the chair’s casting vote that set the new situation in motion. This response to the USS’s 2018 valuation is a wholesale rejection of the proposed solutions presented by the Joint Expert Panel last year.
Your union’s position remains that the employers should shoulder any additional costs of maintaining our benefits. We will be balloting for industrial action on pensions soon. When your ballot papers arrive, we would ask you to consider who is to blame for the position we now find ourselves in. Sam Marsh’s recent USSbriefs blog should leave you in no doubt: https://medium.com/ussbriefs/the-2018-uss-valuation-a-wholesale-rejection-of-the-joint-expert-panels-report-ed5241f4a153
Also see the UCU Open Letter to all USS pension scheme members at www.leedsucu.org.uk/open-letter-to-all-uss-pension-scheme-members/
Please share this with colleagues who are not union members but pay into a USS pension, and encourage them to join their union to do something about these unwarranted contribution increases and to defend their pension.
Oh, and PS, if you haven’t already done so, could you check your postal address on myUCU to make sure your ballot papers come to the right address? (www.ucu.org.uk and click the pink button top right). Thank you.