Commenting ahead of planned industrial action starting tomorrow (Wednesday 1 February) by the University and College Union, a spokesperson for Universities UK on behalf of USS Employers said:
It is disappointing to once again be facing industrial action and the top priority for universities will be putting in place a series of measures to protect students’ learning. However, we expect action to again be limited and the action faced in recent years means universities are well prepared to manage any pockets of disruption.
Employers and UCU share the goal of a secure, valuable, and affordable retirement income for university staff – and the USS remains one of the most attractive private pension schemes in the country, with employer contribution rates already around three times higher than the average employer contribution rate among the FTSE 250 companies.
The reality is that for some considerable time, universities have had to do more with less and make up the shortfall on the cost of teaching and support from elsewhere in budgets because fees have not kept pace with inflation. This is the context in which we would ask members of the UCU to consider whether to join the picket lines in the weeks ahead, and we will continue to speak to the union to work towards an agreement as far as it is possible to do so.