UCU (University and College Union) strikes may be called off in the coming days, however UCU members are calling for their national leadership to reconsider their position in the negotiations with UUK (Universities UK).

The proposals, which will be considered by both parties today [Tuesday 13 March], will be introduced as part of a three-year transitional agreement. This could lead to strike action which has impacted over 60 institutions of higher education across the UK to be suspended as soon as Wednesday.

we are strongest and able to force a more decisive victory

However, UCU members are pleading with their own leadership to take a different approach, and many have signed a petition which urges them to “throw out UUK’s offer all together”.

So far the petition has 6,000 member signatures from higher education institutions across the country, 100 of which are from the University of St Andrews.

An ‘open letter’ petition by members of the UCU reads, “The current agreement kicks a serious solution to the pension dispute in the long grass, committing to a three year process of re-evaluation. It further does so at the very moment we are strongest and able to force a more decisive victory.

100 signatures from the University of St Andrews

“The employers’ valuation has been demonstrated to be bogus, yet the UCU leadership is now accepting to increase our contribution while we re-evaluate. Employers’ contribution however will rise by only 1.3%.

In three years time we will be demobilised and pressured to accept a worse deal. In our opinion we should keep going and throw UUK’s offer out all together.”

Many signatories of the petition have chosen to name themselves, whilst others have elected to remain anonymous, simply signing the institution of higher education that employs them.

The petition continues, “Furthermore, the UCU is effectively calling on us to both reschedule as well as calling off the action before having put it to the membership, two positions that are absolutely unacceptable.”

The interim arrangement being considered by UUK and UCU, which if agreed will come in effect as early as April next year, will require employers and members to pay higher contributions.

Employer contributions will go up to 19.3 per cent of salary, with members’ contributions rising to 8.7 per cent.

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