UCU open organising meeting, 27 June

Organising the USS Campaign in London

An open regional organising meeting for all reps and activists

Thursday 27 June, 6.30pm
Garwood Lecture Theatre
1st Floor, South Wing, Wilkins Building
University College London
(adjacent to the Quad)

All members welcome

Speakers:
Deepa Govindarajan Driver, Co-Chair, UCU National Dispute Committee
Carlo Morelli, UCU Scotland President and ex-UCU USS Negotiator
Marion Hersh, UCU USS Negotiator

Called by London Region UCU.


On Friday 7 June, UCU submitted a letter to every employer asking them to commit to No Detriment in contributions or benefits in the current (2017) valuation round.

The employers could agree to pick up the increased employee contribution costs that USS is imposing. Or they could agree to negotiate at the top table to jointly demand, with UCU, to implement the JEP recommendations in full. Either way they could avoid a dispute.

However, if as is almost certain, the employers decline to do so, UCU will organise a disaggregated ballot of members in each employer from September to October.

We need to get organised. We will need to ensure that in every branch more than 50% of members eligible to vote do so. The stakes are extraordinarily high.

Please come to this meeting, and encourage others to do so.

See also

Lobby USS JNC, 17 May

Lobby the Joint Negotiating Committee of USS

Friday 17 May, 9:30 for 10am

Lobby the USS JNC poster A460 Threadneedle Street, EC2 8RP » Map
Nearest tube: Bank

Called by London Region UCU.

Our pension scheme is under attack from those who run it.

In 2018, members took 14 days of strike action in overwhelming numbers to defend our USS pension. We demonstrated that there was no deficit in the pension scheme. And the Joint Expert Panel (JEP), set up in the wake of the dispute, agreed.

There is no need to make cuts in pensions. There is no need for employees to pay more in to the scheme. The scheme is in surplus and is growing. The arguments that have been used to impose changes are specious. The JEP’s recommendations in their First Report are minor increases that the employers could afford to pick up in their entirety.

This is why UCU’s position is #NoDetriment. 

However, the USS Board are refusing to implement the recommendations of the JEP. Consequently they are imposing large increases in contributions on both employees and employers. In March they pre-announced a 42.5% increase in contributions from employees — even though their own consultation of members overwhelmingly demanded no increase.

Those who run USS are undermining JEP by refusing to implement the first report. They intend to undermine the Second Report of JEP.

If they get away with this, we will pay more, and then the employers will demand 100% Defined Contribution at the next valuation round.

We have to restart the fight to defend USS.

  • Come to the Lobby of the USS Joint Negotiating Committee on Friday.
  • Prepare members to ballot for strike action to defend their pension.

UCU Congress, at the end of the month, will then vote on the next steps.
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What next after the JEP: how can we build the pay fight?

London Region UCU Open Activist Meeting

Pensions and Pay – What next after the JEP and how can we build the pay fight?

Monday 17 September, 6.30pm

Room 1.20, Engineering Building, University College London
Entrance opposite Waterstones/ULU on Torrington Place. Nearest tube Goodge St.
Map and directions

All members welcome

This meeting is for members in Further and Higher Education to hear about the USS dispute and to discuss how we unite the union to fight over pay.

The report of the USS Joint Expert Panel has been published at www.ussjep.org.uk

USS branches are strongly encouraged to organise local meetings next week to discuss the report and next steps in the campaign.

UCU London Region has called a meeting for Monday 17 September for colleagues from all parts of the HE sector to discuss what the report means and to debate next steps in the campaign.

With ballots taking place over pay in both Higher and Further Education, one logical conclusion is that any cost increase imposed over pension costs should be billed to the employers in the pay campaign.

Useful links

Education Demo #2, 14 March

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Rally and Strike Meeting in Westminster Central Hall from 2pm

Confirmed speakers to include:

  • Joanna De Groot, UCU President
  • John McDonnell MP
  • Catherine West MP
  • Sean Wallis, UCU NEC and HE Convention
  • Chair: Rachel Cohen, UCU NEC

Following a very successful demonstration on February 28th, when 5,000 staff and students in Further and Higher Education marched, London Region UCU has called a second demonstration to Parliament within the fourth week of USS strikes.

Education is under a massive attack. Tuition fees for university have gone through the roof and colleges are in frantic competition with each other to recruit students.

Now the employers want to wreck the pensions of Higher Education staff. Workers ranging from senior academics to postgraduate teaching assistants have begun a programme of an initial 14 days of strike action, closing 65 universities across the UK. We have seen massive pickets on our campuses, and the overwhelming support of students.

16 colleges of Further Education are also in dispute in defence of their pay and conditions. Further Education has lost 15,000 jobs, and one million adult education places, and lecturers have seen their wages cut by 21% since 2009.

We welcome delegations and support from outside London and from across the student and trade union movement. You can get in touch by email or by leaving a comment on our website.
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Demo route

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Education Demonstration, 28 February

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Rally in Westminster Central Hall from 2pm

Speakers included

  • Sally Hunt UCU General Secretary
  • John McDonnell MP (Shadow Chancellor)
  • Angela Rayner MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Education)
  • Gordon Marsden MP (Shadow Minister for HE, FE and Skills)
  • Frances O’Grady TUC General Secretary
  • Sean Wallis UCU NEC and convenor of HE Convention
  • Shakira Martin NUS President
  • Elisa Benn Grenfell College campaign
  • Jo Galloway UNISON Head of HE, London
  • Chris Williamson MP
  • Ian Hodson BFAWU President
  • Kevin Courtney NEU General Secretary
  • Khadeja Ali City & Islington HPL
  • Nadia Sayed QMW student, Stand Up to Racism
  • Sean Vernell UCU NEC, FE national negotiator
  • …and many striking workers from across the union

marchEducation is under a massive attack. Tuition fees for university have gone through the roof and colleges are in frantic competition with each other to recruit students.

Now the employers want to wreck the pensions of Higher Education staff. Workers ranging from senior academics to postgraduate teaching assistants have begun a programme of an initial 14 days of strike action, closing 61 universities across the UK. We have seen massive pickets on our campuses, and the overwhelming support of students.

This demonstration and rally took place on the last day in the first wave of the university pension strikes.

16 colleges of Further Education were on strike in London on the same day in defence of their pay and conditions. This was their first day of a two days of strike as part of an escalating strike campaign. Further Education has lost 15,000 jobs, one million adult education places and lecturers have seen their wages cut by 21% since 2009.

We welcome delegations and support from outside London and from across the student and trade union movement. You can get in touch by email or by leaving a comment on our website.

A delegation from UCU’s sister trade union in Germany are coming over especially to join us. If you care about the future of education and scientific research in the UK, join us too.

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Demo route

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