Home > News and blog > Employers willing to meet at any time or place to resolve pensions dispute

Employers willing to meet at any time or place to resolve pensions dispute

5 March 2018

Commenting after the first day of talks at ACAS between employers and the University and College Union (UCU), a spokesperson for Universities UK said:

"Today's talks were constructive and will continue over the coming days. We restated again that we are willing to meet with UCU at any time or place to resolve this dispute. It is clear to us that the proposal put forward by UCU last week hasn't been properly costed with USS. Rather than a 4.1% increase in contributions, it would need an additional c8% of salaries, which is unaffordable. If forced into this level of increases most institutions would have to make redundancies and there would be a detrimental impact on teaching and research.   ​

"Employers are committed to exploring affordable and viable options to resolve this dispute. UCU should call off the strikes to focus all their efforts on joining us for meaningful discussions over the future of USS."




  1. Following a series of discussions lasting longer than one year, on 23 January 2018 the Joint Negotiating Committee – the formal and legally established forum for deciding changes to USS – supported a proposal by Universities UK, representing 350 higher education employers, to make the scheme sustainable. UUK also made the commitment to reintroduce defined benefits if the economic conditions improve.​

  2. Informal talks took place on Tuesday 27 February between employers, represented by Universities UK (UUK), and employees by the University and College Union (UCU). The talks were constructive and both parties agreed to involve ACAS in facilitating further talks to bridge the significant distance between both sides. See media release.

  3. Universities UK is the representative organisation for the UK's universities. Founded in 1918, its mission is to be the definitive voice for all universities in the UK, providing high quality leadership and support to its members to promote a successful and diverse higher education sector. With 136 members and offices in London, Cardiff (Universities Wales) and Edinburgh (Universities Scotland), it promotes the strength and success of UK universities nationally and internationally.

Key Contacts

Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

Media Relations Manager
Universities UK

Clara Plackett

Clara Plackett

Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK


Pensions – the importance of getting it right

3 October 2017
UUK's Chief Executive, Alistair Jarvis, sets out his analysis of the way in which the Universities Superannuation Scheme needs to react to recent concerns.

Addressing the university pension fund deficit

2 August 2017
Following the news coverage on the USS pensions fund deficit, Professor Koen Lamberts discusses the challenges facing the scheme.


Universities UK planning more talks with UCU to end pensions dispute

14 March 2018
Following the University and College Union’s (UCU) rejection of the proposals jointly agreed at ACAS this week, Universities UK is planning more, urgent talks with UCU to end the dispute.

Agreement reached in USS pension talks

12 March 2018
An agreement has been reached between Universities UK (UUK) and the University and College Union (UCU) under the auspices of Acas following six days of talks.