UK higher education and university staff oppose union sellout ahead of ballot result


UK higher education and university staff oppose union sellout ahead of ballot result

Thomas Scripps

11 April 2018

Lecturers and other further education staff are resisting the attempt by the University and College Union (UCU) to betray their strike against massive cuts to pensions planned by the Universities UK (UUK) employers.

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP), its Education FightBack initiative and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) call for a decisive rejection of the UUK/UCU deal in the ballot due to close at 2pm Friday.

The strike began after UUK proposed to end the defined benefits within the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), as a precursor to ending a national pension scheme altogether. Academics joining the USS now stand to lose more than £200,000 (US $283,074) in deferred wages from their retirement income. Many others would lose tens of thousands of pounds.

In opposition, 40,000 UCU members have taken 14 days of strike action since February 22—in the largest ever strike in Higher Education (HE) in British history.

Following a rebellion by strikers on March 12-13, which defeated the UCU’s first attempt to sell out the dispute, the union entered into a new round of negotiations with the employers. They concocted a rotten deal, which the union is trying to force through by an online ballot of lecturers.

The new deal offers nothing to employees. According to the document released, a joint panel will be set up to assess the disputed financial valuation of the pension scheme, whose findings USS trustees are under no obligation to accept!

The current pension scheme is to be maintained only until April 2019, when a new scheme will be decided that meets “the affordability challenges for all parties.” There is no…

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