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Pre-strike negotiations update

30 November 2022

As action resumes today, I wanted to bring you an urgent update about the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), and also developments in the pay and working conditions dispute.

The USS trustee has now published data which further vindicates UCU's position that the cuts were totally unnecessary

According to USS's latest monitoring report, the cost of restoring benefits has fallen to a new low of 24.4%. This compares with the 31.4% currently being paid in contributions towards the package of cuts forced through by vice chancellors in April this year. 

But there's more: USS has also confirmed that its surplus has increased once again, from £1.8n to £5.6bn. The scheme is going from strength to strength and there remains no credible reason for refusing to restore benefits - and that is exactly what our union is demanding. Later this week we meet Universities UK at the Joint Negotiating Committee, after which we will provide another update. 

Today, our union also meets negotiators from UCEA. We hope that in this meeting employers will bring with them a renewed mandate to negotiate further on pay. 

Last time, employers sat out the entire dispute. But this time around, we have already forced UCEA to seek a new mandate from vice chancellors. I couldn't be clearer: employers are in the room because of you and the action you are delivering. 

In the meantime, we must not take our eye off the ball. It is vital that we once again demonstrate our industrial strength and deliver massive picket lines - that is how we show employers that we mean business and are here for the long haul if necessary. 

See you on the picket lines.

Jo Grady
UCU general secretary

Last updated: 18 January 2023