Marking boycott over USS reform suspended

Industrial action called over the reforms to pre-1992 university pensions has been suspended.

November 20, 2014

A joint statement by the University and College Union and Universities UK said the assessment boycott that has been under way at institutions for a fortnight would be put on hold from 20 November until after the next meeting of the Joint Negotiating Committee, which is scheduled for 15 January.

The agreement was reached after employers agreed not to dock the pay of lecturers who had been taking part in the industrial action over the Universities Superannuation Scheme. Academics will be expected, in return, to catch up on marking within a reasonable period of time.

“UCU and UUK have agreed to a series of negotiating meetings between now and the scheduled January JNC. It is hoped that this period can now be used to close the differences between the negotiating positions, with a view to reaching agreement on reforms to the USS scheme,” the statement said.

“Both parties are committed to seeking a joint proposal for reform that offers an affordable, sustainable and attractive pension scheme, for both current and future members.”

The boycott was triggered by the proposal to move higher education staff who pay into the USS’s final salary scheme on to the career revalued benefits scheme introduced for new entrants in 2011. This triggered warnings from the union that staff pensions could be reduced by as much as a third.

At least 10 universities had announced plans to dock 100 per cent of the salary of academics taking part in the boycott, with others choosing to dock around 25 per cent.

A thaw in relations came after the UCU submitted counterproposals that accepted the end of the final salary scheme, but called for more generous terms.

But some academics have accused union leaders of “betrayal”, calling for the final salary scheme to be protected and for a conference of branch delegates to be convened to decide on the way forward in the dispute.

The joint statement from the UCU and UUK added: “Both parties are pleased that the agreement to suspend industrial action at this early stage will mean that students will not have been adversely affected and members of staff will not have had pay deducted.”

chris.havergal@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Retired academics calculating moves while playing bowls

Lincoln Allison, Eric Thomas and Richard Larschan reflect on the ‘next phase’ of the scholarly life