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Employers' strike ban rejected by UCU in pensions dispute

23 August 2019

UCU has rejected an offer from the university employers that would have forced the union to ban any strike ballots over pensions for two years.

The union said it was disappointed the employers had tried to present the offer as a credible one and said they must have known that the "ludicrous condition" of a strike ban would be rejected. UCU said it would look seriously at proposals from the employers without preconditions.

The employers said that in exchange for a two-year moratorium on ballots over pensions, they would expect USS members to pay 9.1% of their salary, instead of the 9.6% they had proposed previously. USS members currently pay 8.8% and paid 8% before last year's strike action to defend their pensions.

Commenting on the employers' proposed strike ban, a UCU spokesperson said: 'The employers' offer was rejected because it had ludicrous conditions attached about when and how the union could conduct strike ballots. 

'It was strike action that saved the USS pension and the employers must surely have known that we would never accept a two-year ban on ballots. Particularly as it would have stopped us taking action over the next USS valuation, as well as the current one.

'It is really disappointing the employers are attempting to present the offer as a credible basis for negotiation. Members are furious at the delays over the dispute getting sorted and will not accept universities trying to curb their ability to defend their pensions. If the employers would like to table sensible proposals that do not have preconditions attached then we would respond appropriately.'

Last updated: 23 August 2019