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UCU Scotland Health and Safety Reps 1 Training

Registration for Health and Safety Reps 1 – Induction course

The course will run 27-29 November in Aberdeen.  Further information and online registration is available at:  https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/7813/HS-1-Induction-Health–safety-reps-role-and-functions-27-29-November-2018-Aberdeen

Local General Meeting on the Report of the Joint Expert Panel USS

The Branch Committee has arranged a General Meeting to discuss the recently published first report of the Joint Expert Panel (JEP) on USS. The speakers will be:

Dr Catherine Donnelly, FIA – Associate Professor HWU and member of the JEP.

Dr Carlo Morelli – Senior Lecturer Dundee University, member of NEC and UCU rep on the USS JNC.

Date: Thursday 27th September 2018

Venue: Chaplaincy

Time: 10.00-12.00

It would help us immensely with space management if you could signify your intent to attend, please email: G.S.Bruce@hw.ac.uk

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at this meeting. Please feel free to bring any colleague who may be affected / interested.

HWUCU Branch Committee

Training opportunities

UCU Reps 1 Training Course
Glasgow, 3-5 September 2018

All new reps, and existing reps who would benefit from a refresher, are encouraged to sign up for this 3 day course.Further information and registration available at:

Health and Safety Reps
Glasgow, 20-22 August 2018

Health and safety is a priority of the UCU Scotland Executive Committee. Further information and registration for this training course is available at:

Branch BBQ June 28th – Chaplaincy

The Branch is holding a BBQ on June 28th, 12.45 to 7pm at the Chaplaincy, to celebrate the amazing show of solidarity during the USS strikes. The BBQ is open to members, their families and all those who showed their solidarity and support. There should be 2 servings of food so come along when you can.

  • Music definitely, sunshine maybe, solidarity always.
  • We’ll bring the BBQ food – meat, vegetarian and vegan.
  • Bring yourself, bring a banner and BYOB.
  • Children and dogs (on leads) welcome.

Please encourage anyone who is interested in the union to come along and meet us all. A poster is available if you would like to print one for your department/building.

 We are looking for a few volunteers to help with:

  • Set up at 12 noon.
  • Clean up from 7 to 8pm.
  • Cooking throughout the day.
  • Anyone who would like to bring a salad /side dish or make up a playlist.

Please contact Sarah Joss, Branch Membership Officer, if you are able to help.

Hope to see you all there!

HWUCU Committee

Save the date – HWUCU AGM 2018

The HWUCU AGM will be held on Wednesday 16th May 2018 at 12.00 in the Chaplaincy Centre.

HWUCU Hardship Fund

In support of industrial action, the Officers of HWUCU have the discretion to agree that compensatory payments can be made from a local Hardship Fund to those members who have had pay deducted as a result of the member’s participation in industrial action.

As the UCU national Fighting Fund does not provide cover for all days of a dispute, a local Hardship Fund has been established to provide support for this period. As per the national Fighting Fund, the maximum daily claim limit is capped at £50.

The union endeavors to give priority of payment to members most in need (e.g. lower paid or casual staff, members on insecure contracts etc.)

HWUCU Hardship Fund guidance notes

HWUCU Hardship Fund application form

If  you would like to make a donation, or share with those who can, the details are:
The Bank: Unity Trust Bank
Account name: UCU – Heriot-Watt University LA 023 Hardship Fund
Sort Code: 60-83-01
Account No. 20391168

Strike for USS

Why we’re taking action over USS

Frequently asked questions

Vote now to save USS – Ballot closes Friday 19 January.

UCU is currently balloting its members for industrial action over changes proposed by UUK to slash USS members’ retirement income. The ballot closes on Friday 19 January and the union is urging any members who have not yet voted to cast their vote immediately.

Further information can be found at https://www.ucu.org.uk/uss

Vote now to save USS

Please vote now to save your pension. https://www.ucu.org.uk/strikeforuss

Posted by UCU – University and College Union on Monday, 4 December 2017

Overhaul of university pensions could leave staff £200,00 worse off in retirement

The following article is taken from the UCU website.

Staff in some of the UK’s most elite universities will see the value of their retirement income drop by as much as £200,000 if hardline proposals from universities are brought in. Analysis by independent experts First Actuarial shows that a lecturer starting work today could be £208,000 worse off over the course of their retirement under the new proposals for the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

The modeling also reveals that the lecturer would be £385,000 worse off than if they worked in their nearest new ‘post-92′ university where academics’ pensions are paid by the rival Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) rather than USS.

The report also looks in detail at the impact on staff in USS and finds that a lecturer who started in 2007 and has 10 years’ past service could see their annual pension fall by just over £6,000 a year in retirement, or £131,000 in total. The total loss in retirement for current USS members reduces with the more past service they have. Someone with 20 years’ past service could lose £35,000 in total.

The revelations about how much staff can expect to lose come UCU members start to receive ballot papers asking them to back a sustained campaign of strikes and other forms of industrial action. The union has warned of “chaos on campuses” in the new year if the dispute cannot be resolved. The postal ballot opened on Wednesday and will close on Friday 19 January.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: ‘This analysis reveals just how damaging UUK’s hardline plans for the pension scheme would be on an individual basis for people who have planned and saved for their retirement.

‘Already offering worse benefits than other schemes available in the sector, these proposals would devastate USS members’ pensions and could create a recruitment and retention crisis as staff jump ship to secure their futures.

‘I would urge all members to take a look at what these proposals would mean for them and then make sure they vote in the ballot for industrial action.’

Table 1: Comparison of current pension income against UUK’s plans and current Teachers’ Pension Scheme

Staff profile Current deal UUK proposals Loss total Annual loss TPS
Starts on £39,992 and moves up pay spine to £47,722 £434,000 £305,000 £129,000 £6,000 £580,000
Starts on £39,992 and moves up pay spine to £58,655 £503,000 £346,000 £157,000 £7,300 £662,000
Starts on £39,992 and moves up pay spine to £110,217 £614,000 £406,000 £208,000 £9,600 £791,000

Assumes all work 30 years paying into USS. Retirement of 27 years. TPS members pay slightly higher contributions.


Table 2: Impact of UUK’s plans for different staff already in USS

Staff member Current deal UUK proposals Loss total Loss annual
To retire in 2047 aged 68. Started on spine 31 (now at £33,518) in 2007 (10 years’ past service). £562,000 £431,000 £131,000 £6,100
To retire in 2037 aged 67. Started on spine 31 (now at £33,518) in 2002 (15 years’ past service). £427,000 £339,000 £88,000 £4,100
To retire in 2027 aged 66. Started on spine 31 (now at £33,518) in 1997 (20 years’ past service). £426,000 £391,000 £35,000 £1,600


HWUCU General Meeting 13th December

The next General Meeting of the HWUCU will be held in the Chaplaincy lounge on Wednesday 13th December 2017, 12.00 – 14.00.

Please forward to G.S.Bruce@hw.ac.uk,  or your local Rep/ Committee member, any questions/ items that you wish to be considered for the agenda.

It would be appreciated for the purposes of catering if you could indicate if you are going to attend.

Please also feel free to bring along any colleague who may be interested in becoming a member.

HWUCU Committee