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21/01/11 – Union says industrial action still likely over pension cuts

From UCU website 21 January 2011

UCU said today that the board of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) needed to properly consider the results of the union’s consultation on changes to the USS pension scheme.

UCU today warned higher education employers that industrial action was still likely over the planned changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).
 
Responding to the decisions made at yesterday’s USS board meeting, the union said the board’s suggestion of modifications to two strands of the employers’ proposals had not gone far enough.
 
In a ballot of over 31,000 USS members conducted by UCU, 96% said they did not support the employers’ radical changes to the scheme. In contrast, the USS official consultation received just 5,000 responses from USS members and the board has not released what they said.
 
The board’s modifications are to reconsider the length of time members who leave the scheme have to rejoin to be able to keep their final salary scheme and to look again at plans for the level of caps on inflation proofing.
 
UCU said it was keen to hear exactly what the modifications to the proposals would be, but warned that, whilst USS members would welcome concessions, it did not sound as if the board had gone far enough to prevent industrial action and widespread disruption across the higher education sector.
 
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: ‘Our members not only voted against the proposed changes to USS, but they also told us why they opposed the employers’ plans. We are pleased that the USS board has taken some of that on board and we look forward to seeing the modifications to the proposals.
 
‘USS is still following the employers’ line and is proposing to scrap the final salary scheme and make it cheaper for employers to sack people on the grounds of redundancy. This has got a lot to do with saving the employers money and not enough to do with ensuring the long-term sustainability of the scheme.
 
‘We need to be clear that these concessions have only come about because of the pressure from UCU and USS members. It must be disappointing for the employers that six times as many USS members responded to the UCU consultation they tried to block than to their own official one.
 
‘While we welcome the concessions, much more will need to be done if we are to avoid strike action and widespread disruption in our universities.’ 

UCU said today that the board of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) needed to properly consider the results of the union’s consultation on changes to the USS pension scheme.

UCU today warned higher education employers that industrial action was still likely over the planned changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).
 
Responding to the decisions made at yesterday’s USS board meeting, the union said the board’s suggestion of modifications to two strands of the employers’ proposals had not gone far enough.
 
In a ballot of over 31,000 USS members conducted by UCU, 96% said they did not support the employers’ radical changes to the scheme. In contrast, the USS official consultation received just 5,000 responses from USS members and the board has not released what they said.
 
The board’s modifications are to reconsider the length of time members who leave the scheme have to rejoin to be able to keep their final salary scheme and to look again at plans for the level of caps on inflation proofing.
 
UCU said it was keen to hear exactly what the modifications to the proposals would be, but warned that, whilst USS members would welcome concessions, it did not sound as if the board had gone far enough to prevent industrial action and widespread disruption across the higher education sector.
 
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: ‘Our members not only voted against the proposed changes to USS, but they also told us why they opposed the employers’ plans. We are pleased that the USS board has taken some of that on board and we look forward to seeing the modifications to the proposals.
 
‘USS is still following the employers’ line and is proposing to scrap the final salary scheme and make it cheaper for employers to sack people on the grounds of redundancy. This has got a lot to do with saving the employers money and not enough to do with ensuring the long-term sustainability of the scheme.
 
‘We need to be clear that these concessions have only come about because of the pressure from UCU and USS members. It must be disappointing for the employers that six times as many USS members responded to the UCU consultation they tried to block than to their own official one.
 
‘While we welcome the concessions, much more will need to be done if we are to avoid strike action and widespread disruption in our universities.’

One Comment

  1. Rob says:

    Don’t forget. We have three ballots taking place at LHU at the same time.

    They are:

    1. Pensions
    2. Pay and job security
    3. Redundancies at Liverpool Hope

    You will get three different ballot papers in the post and will need to vote three times.

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