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Proposed Industrial Action Education Zone Committee, November 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Proposed Industrial Action Education Zone Committee, November 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Proposed Industrial Action Education Zone Committee, November 2014

2 What is the dispute about? The dispute is about changes to lecturers’ pensions that have been proposed by the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) who manage pensions. At the moment, all university staff receive pensions that are Defined Contribution (or DC or Final Salary). This means that the lecturers’ pension is based on what they were earning when they retired. USS have put forward a proposal that would mean that more staff would receive pensions that are Carer Revalued Benefit (CRB, or salary average). This means that when the lecturer retires, their pension is based on the average amount they were earning over the course of their career. The changes would affect 150,000 active USS members. These people would receive Career Revalued Benefits up to a threshold of £50,000. After £50,000, they would start building up some of their pension as a Final Salary pension 2

3 What do UCU say? UCU argue that the changes to pensions will mean that people are thousands of pounds worse off in retirement. They argue that these changes aren’t fair because lecturers at post 92 universities are on a different pension scheme that UCU argue is more generous. UCU also argue that if older universities have less generous pensions, they will struggle to attract good staff. In addition, several academics have argued that USS has got the figures wrong, and that the deficit in the pension fund is not as big as USS say it is. [THE letter]. UCU argue that this industrial action is the highest turn out in a HE ballot they have had since they were formed in 2006. 45% of eligible UCU members voted; of this, 87% voted for action short of a strike, and 78% voted for action including a strike. 3

4 What does USS say? USS say that the way the pension scheme is funded is too expensive to be sustained – there is a £8 billion deficit They argue that in order to keep the scheme the way it is, employers (universities) would need to put more money into the scheme. USS say that this will mean universities will need to hire fewer staff, have fewer pay rises, or maybe sell off their assets. USS say that employees (lecturers) would also need to pay more into the scheme, so they would have less pay at the end of the month. USS argue that employees at post-1992 universities sometimes pay more into their pension - 6.4% to 12.4%. If the reforms happen, all staff in the USS will pay 6.5%. USS argue that the proposed reform is more fair because everyone pays the same 4

5 How will this action affect students? UCU have voted to start a marking boycott from the 6 th November if this dispute is not resolved. There is not yet a set date for the boycott to end. The boycott applies to: “any form of student work which attracts a mark or score or other form of evaluation from the member of staff, and which formally contributes to the award or classification of any degree, certificate, diploma or any other formal qualification” Academics are going to continue all their other work - giving lectures and running seminars and classes. 5

6 What do we do? Union Council Policy states that if Union Council can’t vote before the action begins, Education Zone will make ‘an interim decision.’ Union Council Policy We need to decide whether SUSU supports this industrial action – both the issue and the action. And, if SUSU does support the strike – how involved will SUSU be in our support? 6

7 Resources Employers Pension Forum briefing: Employers Pension Forum figures: News/news.cfm/21oct14 News/news.cfm/21oct14 Letter to THE contesting the above figures: uss/2016525.article uss/2016525.article UCU statement, 27 th October UCU statement for students: THE article on the reforms: pension-proposals/2016318.article pension-proposals/2016318.article UCU resources: University staff open letter to Don Nutbeam, Vice-Chancellor: withdraw-southampton-from-pension-proposal-to-end-fss/ withdraw-southampton-from-pension-proposal-to-end-fss/ SUSU policy re. industrial action university-staff/#content university-staff/#content 7

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