All out for USS

It's not too late! Universities UK can still commit to meaningful negotiations over pensions and end the strike action.

Are you a parent?

This short video we produced for students explains why we're taking action and you can read more detail below:


Why we are striking

We are taking strike action to defend our right to a fair pension. University employers want to end guaranteed pensions and reduce retirement income for all.

Pensions under attack

University staff have always accepted pay levels that are lower than comparably skilled professions, partly because we had a decent pension. Now our right to a well-earned retirement is under attack.

What employers' hardline proposals would mean

  • Final pensions would depend on how the stock market performs not on contributions.
  • A reduction in retirement benefits by between 20% and 40% depending on grade and length of service. A typical lecturer stands to lose around £10,000 a year.
  • The worst pensions in the education sector, far worse than those available to both school teachers and staff in 'new' universities.
  • A recruitment and retention crisis as staff seek better financial security elsewhere.

Striking is always a last resort

No education professional wants to strike but we also deserve long-term security and our students deserve staff who are able to focus fully on the job. We have called for extended negotiations with the employers but, disappointingly, talks ended with the changes being imposed.

Staff feel angry and betrayed but even now we call on university leaders to work with us to find a solution and avoid widespread disruption for our students.

Please support our strike

UCU members voted overwhelmingly for this action on the highest turnout this union has seen. We have been left with no choice but to take strike action and to withdraw the goodwill that the university relies upon but that has been taken for granted.

You can help by writing to the head of your child's university asking them to resume national negotiations with UCU immediately.

Last updated: 1 February 2018