On Tuesday 5 November, UCU announced eight days of strike action, to take place from 25 November to 29 November 2019 and from 2 December to 4 December 2019. In addition, action short of a strike is planned from 25 November to continue until no later than 29 April 2020.
The action has been called in response to UCU’s concerns regarding two areas; member contributions to the USS pension scheme, and pay and conditions.
I recognise the strength of feeling among colleagues in relation to pension provision, and the value placed on pensions, pay and conditions. I share the frustration caused by recent valuations of the USS pension scheme and the uncertainty being created, and I am equally concerned that we are all called upon to increase contributions (employees and employers) in order to maintain existing pension benefits.
Nonetheless, industrial action is damaging for students and colleagues and whilst the dates for action have been announced, our representative bodies, Universities UK (for pensions) and Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA, for pay), remain open to further talks with UCU to discuss how the dispute can be resolved without industrial action taking place. In addition, I have asked members of the senior team here at Royal Holloway to seek a meeting with local UCU branch representatives.
I will keep you updated on any developments and ensure you have information as it becomes available.
Professor Paul Layzell
You can read more about the employer / employee contributions to USS here
You can read more about the 2019 pay outcome here