As Aston University UCU members, along with members in all other USS institutions, continue to take part in the assessment boycott, union negotiators met with employers’ representatives yesterday and the latest talks finally saw some progress on key points in the pensions dispute. Sally Hunt reported that the current boycott is being strongly supported across the country ‘and it is against that backdrop of strong union action' that the meeting finally saw some progress in three key areas:
- the employers agreed not to press their proposals to a vote
- a series of formal and informal negotiating meetings have been agreed between now and the next joint negotiating committee meeting on 15 January 2015
- tripartite agreement was reached that actuaries representing UCU, UUK and USS should meet to discuss the funding position.
The employers also indicated that if UCU agreed to suspend the action until the meeting on 15 January then, contingent upon sensible agreement on clearing any backlog, no money would be docked from members who had participated in the action so far.
UCU’s Higher Education Committee will now be meeting on 19 November to consider UCU’s response. However, the industrial action is still continuing and we should all observe the boycott in full. There is no doubt that the UCU action has forced a change in position over the USS amendments and it is important to continue it until we are offically informed otherwise.
Note that you can now check the individual impact of employers’ proposals with the UCU online modeller and, in line with decisions made by the higher education committee, you can find thecounter-proposals UCU negotiators recently submitted to the national employers representatives.