All out for USS

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

 

USS under attack

Strike for USS

UCU's higher education committee says serious and sustained industrial action is required in the face of damaging proposals from the employers which would effectively destroy the USS pension scheme.

Information for those affected by the strikes: Why we're taking action over USS

Your pension is under attack

  • The employers want to end guaranteed pension benefits.
  • They say your final pension should depend on how your 'investments' perform and not on your contributions.
  • We say it's wrong to risk our members' futures.

 

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Strike dates announced

You will be called to take action at the same time as the majority of your colleagues in UCU branches around the UK.

Thursday 22 February
Friday 23 February

Monday 26 February
Tuesday 27 February
Wednesday 28 February

Monday 5 March
Tuesday 6 March
Wednesday 7 March
Thursday 8 March

Monday 12 March
Tuesday 13 March
Wednesday 14 March
Thursday 15 March
Friday 16 March
Due to your academic calendar you will be called to take action in week two, joining the action already being taken by most other UCU branches; the two missed days from week one are moved to week five.

Monday 26 February
Tuesday 27 February
Wednesday 28 February

Monday 5 March
Tuesday 6 March
Wednesday 7 March
Thursday 8 March

Monday 12 March
Tuesday 13 March
Wednesday 14 March
Thursday 15 March
Friday 16 March

Monday 19 March
Tuesday 20 March
Members voted to take action in a second ballot so you are called join the action taking place at other institutions from 5 March.

Monday 5 March
Tuesday 6 March
Wednesday 7 March
Thursday 8 March

Monday 12 March
Tuesday 13 March
Wednesday 14 March
Thursday 15 March
Friday 16 March
Members voted to take action in a later ballot so you are called join the action taking place at other institutions from 5 March.

Monday 5 March
Tuesday 6 March
Wednesday 7 March
Thursday 8 March

Monday 12 March
Tuesday 13 March
Wednesday 14 March
Thursday 15 March
Friday 16 March
Your branch is not taking action at this time.


Question Your questions on the action answered
 


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USS strike poster Strike resources

USS 'support our strike' poster (A4) [22kb]
Welsh 'support our strike' poster (A4) [30kb]

USS 'support our strike' poster (A3) [22kb]
Welsh 'support our strike' poster (A3) [30kb]

USS 'message for students' strike poster - colour [735kb]
USS 'message for students' strike poster - black/white [32kb]

USS strike leaflet [32kb]
Welsh strike leaflet [35kb]

The USS strike – a briefing note for casualised members [119kb]

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Key member updates

On the eve of the biggest HE strike action ever Sally Hunt explains that the employers have left us with no choice:
We have no choice: strike together for fair pensions

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt appears on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme to explain the USS strike action: Strike action warnings on BBC Radio 4

UCU estimates that over 1 million students will be hit by the action with 575,000 teaching hours lost:  Over 1 million students will be affected by university pensions strikes

In her latest message to members UCU general secretary Sally Hunt talks about 'the letter' they have received from employers in recent days: Let talk about 'the letter'

USS strikes force cancellation of Southampton science and engineering event

'Stop spinning and start talking' employers told: Sally Hunt warns time is running out to stop USS pensions strikes at 61 universities

'I don't cross picket lines' says Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell as she cancels lecture at University of Manchester.

With less than two weeks to go until the first wave of strikes branches are now building for action.

Sally Hunt reports there is still no sign of the employers moving away from their hard-line position of wanting to remove the right to a guaranteed pension: Employers refuse to engage

What to tell students and your employer, financial support and the likelihood of negotiations: Four questions about the strikes

Strike message to students

The National Union of Students has sent its support to UCU ahead of the wave of beginning of the strike action: National Union of Students' message of support to staff ahead of USS pension strikes

Strike dates confirmed: UCU announces 14 strike dates at 61 universities in pensions row

UCU's general secretary Sally Hunt has updated members on the implications of the latest negotiating meeting: Members updated on hard-line employer stance

Strikes now look increasingly likely after talks end without agreement and the chair sides with the employers' representatives and their plans to transform the scheme from one with a guaranteed retirement income to a defined contribution scheme. UCU says strikes now look like a reality as pension talks end

The USS ballot result has now been counted. In a message to UCU members, UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said, 'The results provide a very strong mandate for UCU to continue the fight for a decent, guaranteed pension': USS ballot results announced

UCU's higher education committee congratulated members on the mandate to defend pensions and agreed escalating strike action in the event of an unsatisfactory outcome to the talks: USS strike action agreed

A letter from nearly 1,000 professors on the importance of USS has been published in the Times Higher: 1,000 professors on the importance of USS

Sally Hunt again asks vice-chancellors to use their influence to change the national position taken by Universities UK: Sally Hunt's letter to vice-chancellors

Urge to vote in final week

New year update to USS members from the UCU general secretary on the extended negotiation timetable and the approaching ballot deadline.

USS negotiations timetable extended

Your dispute questions answered, including: the impact of proposals, impact analysis, the significance of 18 December, the state of current negotiations, affordability, breakthrough prospects, imposition implications, the 50% turnout requirement, replacement ballot papers, new joiners and voting, and what form of action is likely?

Update on employers' intransigence

Letter: pensions regulator to Universities UK, 7 Dec 2017 [114kb]

Shadow education secretary raises concerns over pension changes for 'brilliant university staff'

National Union of Students calls for negotiations in USS pensions dispute

Form for requesting duplicate ballot paper goes online

Overhaul of university pensions could leave staff £200,000 worse off in retirement

See also: A comparison of TPS with USS with and without a salary threshold [1Mb]

USS ballot envelope Look out for your ballot papers

Voting papers are now being sent out in the ballot for industrial action over proposals to end guaranteed pension payments in USS. They should reach members over the next few days. Please look out for your ballot envelope.

You can read the statement that accompanies the ballot here [131kb].

University vice-chancellor breaks rank to criticise proposals for staff pensions - see also the statement from the University of Glasgow

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt has written to members in USS ahead of the ballot papers being sent on 29 November: read her message here

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt updates members on the employers' alarming proposals for the future of the scheme which would mean the effective end of USS as we know it, and Sally reports is 'the worst proposal I have received in twenty years of representing university staff': read her full message here

See also:


Snapshot of online reaction to the employers' proposals

Times Higher Education: UUK reforms ‘will cut USS pensions by up to 40 per cent’ Times Higher Education (£): UUK reforms 'will cut USS pensions by up to 40 per cent'

Pensions Age: University vice-chancellor warns proposed changes to USS could have 'serious consequences'

Pension Playpen: Is the USS really in crisis?

Chief Investment Officer: UK University Employees to Vote on Strike over Pension Changes

Professional Pensions: Warwick vice-chancellor attacks DB closure plans for USS

Professional Pensions: Are UUK reform proposals for USS workable?

FT Adviser: University wants government-backed pension solution

Financial Times: UK academics to vote for strike action, 17 Nov 17 Financial Times (£): UK academics to vote for strike action

Times Higher Education: Strike looms as universities seek end to USS defined benefit deal Times Higher Education (£): Strike looms as universities seek end to USS defined benefit deal

IPE.com: Universities propose closing DB scheme of largest UK pension fund

Birmingham Mail: University staff threaten to STRIKE over pensions row

Professional Pensions: UUK proposes axing future accrual in USS

FT Adviser: Pension jeopardy sees universities staff threaten strike

Socialist Worker: Lecturers to ballot over pensions

Varsity Online: Strikes loom over academics' pension dispute

Last updated: 22 February 2018