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Update on UCU announcement of industrial action

Feb 06, 2018

Louise Edwards-Holland
Louise Edwards-Holland, Director of Human Resources & Organisational Development

Dear Colleagues,

As you will be aware from the prior communications in December 2017 and January 2018, the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) has, as a result of the triannual valuation, been undertaking a review that includes employee and employer contributions and member benefits. This is because the scheme is in a deficit position and needs to have an agreed recovery plan in place by the end of June 2018, in order to satisfy the Pensions Regulator that there are sufficient funds to pay member benefits upon retirement.  

UCU is in dispute regarding the proposed changes and has formally notified the University of its intention to call on members to participate in fourteen days of strike action. The action is discontinuous and will commence on the 22 February on the follow dates:

·         Week one: Thursday 22 and Friday 23 February (two days)

·         Week two: Monday 26, Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 February (three days)

·         Week three: Monday 5, Tuesday 6, Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 March (four days)

·         Week four: Monday 12, Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14, Thursday 15 and Friday 16 March (five days)
 

UCU has also notified the University that members will be taking continuous Action Short of a Strike (ASOS) from 22 February 2018; this will be in the following forms:

·         Working to contract

·         Not undertaking voluntary duties

·         Not covering for absent colleagues

·         Not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action


ASOS constitutes partial performance of the contract of employment and for the avoidance of doubt; the University does not accept partial performance.

It is our aim to work with UCU locally to ensure that any action taken is peaceful and enables staff to exercise their right to take strike action, and for those staff that exercise their right to work to be able to do so. The decision to take strike action is a personal one and we understand that for many colleagues, who are committed to ensuring the very best student experience, that this will be a difficult decision.

Further information will be provided to staff on how to notify the University that you are taking action and the associated process for the deduction of pay.

Please be assured that we will be working hard to ensure that learning and teaching continues as normal and that that the impact on students is minimised.

Further information for both staff and students will be provided in due course.

Yours sincerely,

Louise Edwards-Holland      

Director of Human Resources & Organisational Development