Academic workers at 67 of the UK’s biggest universities have voted for a “sustained campaign of industrial action” to resist changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS, the pensions scheme for workers in “traditional” — i.e. pre-1992 — universities).
Bosses want to increase employee contributions, reduce overall pension benefits for new starters and workers made redundant and remove inflation-proofing.
The workers’ union, the University and College Union (UCU), plans an escalating programme of action including working-to-rule, a marking boycott, a full assessment boycott and strikes. Action is likely to begin in mid-October, meaning that teaching staff at pre-1992 universities could be involved in the 30 November strikes. UCU members at post-1992 institutions are in a separate pension scheme and still have a live mandate for strike action from the 30 June strikes.
On a turnout of 42%, 58% of UCU members voted for strike action, with just under 77% voting for action short of a strike.
UCU leader Sally Hunt said “there will be widespread and sustained disruption unless USS is prepared to return to the negotiating table.”