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Ballot opens over latest proposals in university pensions dispute

4 April 2018

UCU members are being balloted on the latest proposals in the university pensions dispute. The ballot opened on Wednesday 4 April and will close at 2pm on Friday 13 April.

If members vote to accept the proposals then strike action scheduled for the summer term will be suspended. However, the union said it would keep its strike mandate live until the proposals had been noted by the USS board.

If members reject the proposals, then there will be strike action targeted to hit teaching and the exam and assessment period. Universities have already been hit with 14 days of strikes as part of action that began in February.

In a message to members, UCU general secretary Sally Hunt set out how far the union had come since the dispute began. She said that getting the employers to pull a proposal to shift the USS scheme from one with defined benefits in retirement to a defined contribution one was a win for the union, as was the employers' commitment to look at how the scheme is valued.

Sally Hunt said: 'In January the employers refused to negotiate with us and were going to impose massively inferior pensions for members of the USS pension scheme. These latest proposals were won by the solid action of UCU members and it is right for them to have their say on what happens next.

'If members accept these proposals then the action for later this term will be suspended. If they reject them then there will be 14 more days of action before the summer and a fresh ballot to keep action running in the new academic year.'

Last updated: 4 April 2018