Staff strikes to con­tinue

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS -

A strike by univer­sity staff will con­tinue af­ter union mem­bers thwarted a deal be­tween em­ploy­ers and lec­tur­ers’ lead­ers over pen­sions.

The Univer­sity and Col­lege Union (UCU) has been locked in a bat­tle with Univer­si­ties UK (UUK) over pro­posed pen­sion re­forms to ad­dress a re­ported deficit and ris­ing ben­e­fit costs.

An agree­ment was reached be­tween the par­ties on Mon­day un­der which em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees would both tem­po­rar­ily pay higher con­tri­bu­tions to plug the fund­ing gap.

It would also have seen the es­ti­mated deficit of the scheme – said to be £6.1 bil­lion – re-eval­u­ated by an in­de­pen­dent body.

The pro­pos­als were con­sid­ered by UCU’S higher ed­u­ca­tion com­mit­tee and branch rep­re­sen­ta­tives yes­ter­day, but re­jected, the union said.

Lec­tures and classes have been dis­rupted at more than 60 univer­si­ties by 14 days of strikes across four weeks, due to end with a five-day walk­out un­til Fri­day.

UCU said “de­tailed prepa­ra­tions” will be made for strikes “over the as­sess­ment and exam pe­riod”.

The union’s gen­eral sec­re­tary Sally Hunt said: “Branches made it clear to­day that they wanted to re­ject the pro­posal.”

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