Members of the lecturers’ union UCU in pre-1992 institutions will begin their industrial campaign against proposed changes to their pensions scheme, the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), on Monday 10 October.
The campaign involves an escalating series of actions, beginning with a work-to-rule and moving to rolling strike action followed by an assessment boycott if there are no concessions from management.
That UCU has designed an escalating programme of action, intended to apply maximum pressure to bosses, rather than calling a single day, or isolated single days, of protest strikes is positive. But the unions need to use that programme of action to fight for positive, concrete demands rather than the vague call on bosses to enter into further negotiations on USS reform.
UCU branches must also urgently reach out to Unison, Unite and GMB (which organise “lower-grade” workers at many universities) to make sure members of those unions to do not cover work undone by UCU members taking part in the action.