USS pension changes – information session for UCU members on 9 January at 12.30pm
Join UCU National Lay Negotiator Dr Carlo Morelli from the University of Dundee and the UCU Senate House committee for a briefing on the proposed changes to the USS pension scheme
When: Tuesday 9 January 2018 at 12.30pm Where: Senate Room, Senate House Who can attend: open to UCU members
Evidence indicates that University staff highly value the defined benefit pension offered through USS – it is one of the most valued elements of our employment packages.
We are all therefore very concerned about Universities UK proposals to remove the defined benefit element of the USS pension scheme, bringing an end to the notion of a guaranteed pension and reducing our entitlements by up to 40%.
But what is UCU, both at Senate House and nationally, planning to do in response to these proposals? What do the proposals mean for me? Why are Universities UK proposing this now and why are they rushing through these proposals? What can I do to support this campaign?
See you for this important briefing session on Tuesday at 12.30pm. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided.
It was brought to the attention of UCU and UNISON that the December payroll for Cordant workers was scheduled to take place after Christmas. Following pro-active engagement and lobbying by the recognised union’s Cordant have now agreed to run the December payroll before Christmas. Seasons greeting to all Cordant staff working at the University of London.
We’ve received a number of questions from members about changes to USS pension scheme and negotiations surrounding these changes.
Universities UK (UUK), which represents the USS institutions in these negotiations, recognises that institutions have the ability to pay extra in order to safeguard existing benefits. However, so far they have said that this is not an option and, unless we can change their minds or persuade both UUK and USS itself to adjust their valuation methodology, detrimental change is inevitable.
Some employers have even signalled that they wish to move wholly to a scheme in which your pension income will be dependent on what returns if any there are from the investment of your contributions in the stock market – in essence, a pension with no guarantees.
UCU urges members to stand up for all staff and help us to protect your interests in the fund rather than look away while benefits are cut.
Be in no doubt that we will endeavour to solve this difficult dispute but if we need to seek your support for action it is good to know that you are with us in such large numbers. (86.6% of members who voted said they would be prepared to take industrial action to defend USS pension benefits on a turnout of 55.8% of those eligible.)
UCU and UNISON have consistently raised concerns around outsourcing since the Facilities Management contracts were tendered. Following the successful campaigns by UNISON and UCU at LSE and SOAS the Senate House branches of these unions have increased their efforts and have been involved in discussions with University of London management regarding the feasibility of returning the outsourced workers to University employment. This process has required a great deal of discretion and the University has been persuaded to continue to engage in these discussions despite some unhelpful interventions over the summer like the serious breaches of health and safety which occurred on the 27th September.
We have been encouraged by these discussions and the University will be making a more substantive announcement about a review of the Facilities Management contracts in which all options will be considered in the next few days.
If you work at the University of London and are affected by this or you know someone who is, we would like to hear from you. Please contact UNISON or UCU branch representatives, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
UNISON and UCU Senate House Branches want to repeat our stated position that the University of London should seek to end outsourcing and bring existing outsourced staff back in-house.
We ask the University to look at the examples set by LSE and SOAS following discussion with Unison at those institutions, which resulted in positive outcomes for outsourced staff at both these Universities.
We call upon support from our members to make this happen.