UCU and UUK agree pension reform to avert further strike action

UCU and UUK have reached a provisional agreement of a transitional pension arrangement which should see strike action end from Wednesday [Credit: Josiah Mortimer]

The University and College Union (UCU) and Universities UK (UUK) have agreed to a revised benefit reform proposal, subject to consultation by both parties and agreement with the lecturers’ pension provider Universities Superannuation Scheme’s Joint Negotiating Committee (USS JNC). Talks today concluded with a provisional agreement on a “transitional benefit arrangement outcome for this valuation which maintains a meaningful level of defined benefits (DB) for all scheme members. The transitional arrangement will take effect from 1 April 2019 lasting for 3 years.”

The compromise between UCU members and universities sees both paying increased contributions to pensions with members paying 8.7 per cent of salaries and employers paying 19.3 per cent. These increased contributions will be in place for the three years of the transitional benefit arrangement. An “independent expert valuation group” will be convened to scrutinise the enforcement of the agreement and “promote greater transparency and understanding”. During the 3 years both sides have agreed to “explore risk sharing alternatives”, particularly with regard to Collective Defined Contributions, for after the transition.

UCU’s Higher Education Committee and Branch representatives will meet tomorrow and is expected to suspend industrial action from and including Wednesday 14 March. The industrial action is expected to remain suspended until the meeting of the USS JNC takes place to confirm the agreement. In the statement released both parties acknowledged “trust needs to be rebuilt following this dispute” and UCU encouraged union members to prioritise the rescheduling of teaching to minimise the disruption to students. UCU and UUK stated that the agreement ” demonstrates a commitment by both parties to work together and avoid damaging disputes in the future.”

One comment

  1. oops no they haven’t