The withdrawal of the original disastrous pension proposal has been formally announced by the USS, which is proof positive of how successful our campaign has been.
Aston Branch news
The pensions issue has moved on but definitely not gone away. We have provided some links that might be useful under our campaign pages.
You will have seen a proposal from the UUK that is a massive retraction from its original position before the strikes began. In essence, the UUK has accepted that the pensions evaluation should start again with equal input from the union and the employers. In the meantime, the status quo exists until at least next April. You can find the full UUK statement here. It represents a huge achievement coming directly out of the industrial action and shows what the UCU can do when its members work together.
We have just completed 14 days of strikes in one of the largest and best supported campaigns the UCU has ever waged. We would like to say a massive thank you to all the members who have supported us by staying away from work and especially to those who were able to come to the picket lines. Some people were there every time, all the time, and they are the true heroes who put the spine into our action. You know who you are ... and so do we: THANK YOU!
Leicester University produced a flyer explaining the reasons for rejecting the proposal that we have adapted for Aston. It is attached to this post.
Although our strikes have been successful to some extent, by managing to keep the DB scheme for the time being, the Aston UCU Branch Committee believes the agreement to be a delaying tactic and a travesty. We are recommending rejection and are especially outraged by the notion that we should reschedule lectures and work twice as hard to make up our strike days but without getting paid for it. Any rescheduling should only be accompanied by full restoration of our pay and we can't believe this was not written into the agreement itself.
Our industrial action has reached a critical point. Negotiations are continuing with ACAS and many university employers are switching from supporting the UUK to acknowledging the legitimacy of the UCU case. Next week, we are ON STRIKE ALL WEEK and it is essential we make it count. Please support us by doing the following:
1) Sign our open letter to the VC and Deputy VC of Aston
2) Join our picket line on Tuesday morning and Thursday morning from 7.00 to 11.00.
A Lion used to prowl about a field in which Four Oxen used to dwell. Many a time he tried to attack them; but whenever he came near they turned their tails to one another, so that whichever way he approached them he was met by the horns of one of them. At last, however, they fell a-quarrelling among themselves, and each went off to pasture alone in a separate corner of the field. Then the Lion attacked them one by one and soon made an end of all four.
United we stand, divided we fall.
Today, Oxford University bowed to the pressure of academics and reversed its decision to support the UUK's position on the USS pensions restructuring. According to the BBC, half the universities have now said the whole issue needs to be reconsidered.
This second week is continuing the tremendous support for the pension strikes at Aston and all around the country. On Monday, the UUK (employers' "negotiating" body) sat down with the UCU and ACAS but then said they couldn't meet again until Wednesday. That's how much value they put on stopping the disruption to the students! The ensuing furore soon changed their minds and they are back in negotiations today.
WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS