Staff strikes to continue
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.”