All staff with a pension whether it be USS or SAUL need to come to this meeting!

It will provide crucial information on what chnages are planned for all our pensions AND explain how the planned NATIONAL STRIKE is going to affect the University of London!

Any questions – dannymillum@iwgb.org.uk or 020 7862 8812

See below for an email from Tim Hall, UCU Chair, which spells out the issues:

From: Tim Hall
Sent: 05 February 2018 13:56
To: UCU Members
Subject: ⚠ Strike Action – Please Read ⚠
Importance: High

Dear Members,

As you’ve now surely heard – University of London Senate House Branch has voted overwhelmingly to strike for the future of our pensions. Potentially, this will be the biggest strike action undertaken in Higher Education history – and with good reason.

 

 

During a strike you should not do any work that relates to your employment

 

While we would strongly encourage members to attend picket lines to support each other and provide a visible presence, the most important thing is that you do not undertake any work on strike days.

 

 

Strike action will take place on:

 

February

·         Thursday 22nd

·         Friday 23rd

·         Monday 26th

·         Tuesday 27th

·         Wednesday 28th

 

March

·         Monday 5th

·         Tuesday 6th

·         Wednesday 7th

·         Thursday 8th

·         Monday 12th

·         Tuesday 13th

·         Wednesday 14th

·         Thursday 15th

·         Friday 16th

Why?

There is no real justification for this pension attack. The “deficit” isn’t real – it is an actuarial projection which isn’t even likely – it is just a possibility. By any normal commercial measure, USS’s finances are strong. Assets have grown by an average of 12% a year for the last five years, and it has a record number of staff paying into the scheme. Actuaries report that USS could pay pensioners directly from its income for 40 years without touching its assets. If a stand isn’t taken now the changes will be made by USS/ UUK to the pension and there will be no going back, and the situation will worsen as the pension becomes less attractive and productive.

These pension cuts are estimated at £200,000 per employee, with the worst hit being the youngest. The new generation of university staff, already bearing huge student debts and no real wage increase in their working life now face the deepest cut in pensions.

It is estimated that you will lose between 10% and 40% of your retirement income. This would mean staff who have been paying into their pension for their whole working lives would get a smaller and much less reliable pension. It’s important to note that women are likely to be the most severely affected by these changes – changes that would be implemented in the same year as we celebrate the University of London’s leading women.

I know that most of us will struggle deeply with the potential loss to earnings over this time (I’m supporting my family with just my wage) but the fact is that we simply can’t afford NOT to strike. The union has agreed to provide strike pay but priority will be given to those on insecure contracts and/or low earnings.  More details are available here [127kb].

I wrote a letter to the Vice-Chancellor urging him to publicly call for the reopening of national negotiations with the aim of retaining a decent defined benefit scheme, and commit to increasing the University of London’s contributions if necessary to protect this valuable benefit. Even at this late stage we can still get back around the negotiating table.

Not just about pensions

Although legally the strikes themselves are about the dispute on pensions, such a significant dispute cannot just be about pensions. This action will play a big role in shaping future management-union relations.

Historically, the medium-term prognosis for staff in industries where the employers rout their staff’s trade unions in a major dispute (which could happen if we don’t properly strike) is not good.

What next?

UCU have organised a meeting next week on the 12th of February from 12.00 – 13.00 (with another hour available for contingency) in the Woburn Room (Senate House Room 22). Please do come – you should have already received invites. We will have a National Pensions Officer present who will talk about the draconian proposals put forward by UUK and why it’s so important that we challenge them.

More information on the strike action can be found on UCU’s website: https://www.ucu.org.uk/uss-action-faqs.

See you at the meeting,

Tim Hall

UCU Senate House Branch Chair

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