UCU recommend voting YES to pension benefit recovery proposals

In 2022 our employers forced through cuts to the USS pension scheme using a very dubious valuation conducted in 2020 at the height of the covid pandemic. These cuts would have led to a reduction of guaranteed income in retirement of up to 35%. We were told at the time that it absolutely necessary to maintain the long term viability of the the scheme and the decision could not be reversed.

Thanks to members taking action to oppose these cuts our employers have agreed to restore benefits and recover what has been lost.

Negotiators for UCU and our employers’ body Universities UK (UUK) have issued a joint statement with a plan for pension full benefit restoration back to pre-April 2022 levels by 1 April 2024. The plan should also see a cut in member contribution rates plus a flat rate payment for recovery of losses between 2022 and 2024. The trustees of the scheme have calculated that this is sustainable for at least the next two valuation cycles (6 years).

UCU consultation on RECOVERY OF LOST BENEFITS 2022-24

UCU members are now being consulted on the proposals for benefit recovery i.e. what was lost in the meantime. The consultation closes at noon on Friday 20 October. Please check your inbox for your unique online voting link. This will describe in detail what you are voting on. The higher education committee (HEC) is recommending that members vote YES (agree) to accept.

The most recent reminder containing the vote to link was sent from yoursay@ucu.org.uk on 12 October 2023 with UCU member consultation on recovery of USS benefits in the subject line.

USS Employer consultation on RESTORATION OF BENEFITS

A separate USS member consultation has been launched by USS on the improvement of benefits back to pre-April 2022 levels. This will close on 24 November 2023 and UCU are encouraging members to respond as soon as possible. It is still important that you make your views about the proposed improvements known.

If you have not already responded please check for an email from Staff Update at Heriot-Watt which contains comprehensive information about the proposed changes and a link to the Employer Consultation Website. The email from staffupdate@hw.ac.uk was sent on 15 September 2023. The subject line is Notice of statutory consultation on behalf of the Universities Superannuation Scheme. Please contact hr@hw.ac.uk if you have not received yours.

Pay and working conditions

We are very close to achieving a result in a pension dispute but we still have a long way to go on fair pay and working condition. Don’t forget to vote Yes to save higher education in the ballot to renew our mandate for further action so that we can put pressure on our employers to come back to the negotiating table. If you haven’t received your ballot paper please request a replacement using the form at https://yoursay.ucu.org.uk/s3/ucuRISING-ballotupdate¬†before midnight on Sunday 29 October.