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Debunked: 4 myths of the USS pension ballot

Published: 23rd September, 2019

It’s no surprise that members of an education union hold a variety of views. But there are currently in circulation four myths about the USS pension ballots that do not stand up to scrutiny. We address these here. Myth 1 The second Joint Expert Panel report is soon to be delivered. We should wait to…

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Let’s plan, let’s Get Out the Vote!

Published: 15th August, 2019

From September 9, all UCU members will receive two sets of ballot papers, asking whether we are prepared to take strike action in defence of our pension and in support of our pay-and-equalities demands. It’s essential a high proportion of members vote. For the result to be legally valid turnout must be at least 50%;…

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USS Trade Dispute – Letter to institutions

Published: 7th June, 2019

In line with the decisions of the higher education sector conference (HESC) 2019, this letter was sent to the University establishing a potential dispute over USS. Further information is available here.

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Where did all our wages go…?

Published: 14th January, 2019

You may recall that we took 14 days of strike action last February and March. You will almost certainly have noticed that in the subsequent months your pay was reduced, with our employer docking 2 days every month until October. Did you ever wonder what happened to that money – £650k, more or less –…

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Pensions Update: time for some introspection at USS?

Published: 23rd November, 2018

A key point of contention in UCU’s on-going pension dispute with our employer concerns the valuation of the USS fund – from which pensions are paid. In particular, a 2017 valuation by USS suggested a serious funding deficit and this formed the basis of Universities UK’s justification for attacking our entitlements. This funding-deficit valuation was…

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Do you remember striking? We want your memories!

Published: 3rd June, 2018

The USS pensions strike of February and March was a transformative experience for all of us – and for our union. We would like to capture some of your memories. Some colleagues at Goldsmiths are producing a ‘strike activists’ handbook’ which we intend to contribute to and in Leicester we are thinking of producing a…

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Working Conditions=Learning Conditions

Published: 21st March, 2018

Here are two lovely fliers distributed at a meeting of Leicester Students’ Union – where students took the decision to back UCU in any future strike action over the pensions dispute. PDFs of the fliers are here – lists and here – sausages & classroom. A more generic one – i.e. without specific references to…

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USS: ‘Addressing the Facts’

Published: 20th March, 2018

You may have received and read an ‘addressing the facts‘ email from USS. Please see below for a counter argument, as prepared by Leeds UCU: Members will be receiving an ‘urgent update’ from the USS trustee today. We would like to offer some further information on this update. We note that the trustee points out…

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Strike Report – Day 13 (Singing in the rain)

Published: 15th March, 2018

Today was a day of high spirits. The excellent news from yesterday afternoon that strike pay is to be deducted at a rate of 2 days per month over the next 7 months resulted in a particularly buoyant mood on the picket lines. (More info on this deduction agreement is here.) As we came together…

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Strike-day pay deductions agreement

Published: 14th March, 2018

Our branch negotiating team met with members of ULT today in order to discuss operational matters related to the current industrial action. It was a cordial and productive meeting in which we were able to find many points of agreement. I am delighted to report the extremely welcome outcomes of that meeting. University of Leicester…

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