Home > News and blog > UCU rejects proposals jointly agreed at ACAS

UCU rejects proposals jointly agreed at ACAS

13 March 2018

​Universities UK has expressed disappointment that the University and College Union (UCU) has rejected the proposals jointly agreed at Acas yesterday between UCU and Universities UK.​

Universities UK is now consulting with Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) employers about a revised mandate ahead of the scheduled Joint Negotiating Committee tomorrow (Wednesday 14 March).

A Universities UK spokesperson said: "It is hugely disappointing that students' education will be further disrupted through continued strike action.

"We have engaged extensively with UCU negotiators to find a mutually acceptable way forward. The jointly developed proposal on the table, agreed at ACAS, addresses the priorities that UCU set out.

"We have listened to the concerns of university staff and offered to increase employer contributions to ensure that all members would receive meaningful defined benefits.

"We recognised concerns raised about the valuation and have agreed to convene an independent expert valuation group.

"Our hope is that UCU can find a way to continue to engage constructively, in the interests of students and those staff who are keen to return to work."

Notes

  1. Talks between Universities UK and UCU began at Acas on Monday 5 March 2018 following discussions that started in January 2017. An agreement was reached on Monday 12 March between Universities UK (UUK) and the University and College Union (UCU) on proposals under the auspices of Acas following six days of talks.

  1. As part of the agreement, it was proposed that all USS members would receive defined benefits (DB) up to a £42,000 salary threshold. More than 50% of USS members would continue to have a fully DB pension.

  1. The transitional arrangement would take effect from 1 April 2019, lasting for 3 years. To achieve this interim solution, both employers and members would be required to pay higher contributions. This would include a total employer contribution of 19.3% of salaries and a total member contribution of 8.7%. These increased contributions would only be in place for the duration of the 3-year transitional arrangement.

  1. Given the concerns raised by some employers and UCU about the scheme's valuation methodology and assumptions, an agreement was also reached between UCU and UUK to convene an independent expert valuation group.

  1. Employers views on the proposal are currently being collated.

  1. USS is governed by a clear set of scheme rules. The Joint Negotiating Committee decided upon benefit reform changes on 23 January 2018. The JNC brings together an equal number of representatives from Universities UK and the University and College Union. The JNC has an independent chair who oversees discussions between employer and member representatives, and can choose to cast a deciding vote if agreement between both parties cannot be reached. 

Key Contacts

Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

Media Relations Manager
Universities UK

Clara Plackett

Clara Plackett

Senior Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK

Blog

Student mental health: dealing with the transition from school to university

15 August 2018
As students receive exam results and many confirm their university places, Student Minds' Louise Honey looks at the often difficult transition from school or college to university, and the new guidance and online support available.

University admissions and clearing: what to expect this year

10 August 2018
Universities UK's Dan Wake looks at this year's applications cycle and what applicants and their families should expect.

News

Impact of European migration analysed in new MAC report

18 September 2018
Response to the report from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) looking at the impact of migration from the European Economic Area (EEA). The MAC took evidence from a range of employers, government departments and industry bodies, including UUK.

USS logo

Response to Joint Expert Panel report on USS valuation

13 September 2018
Response to the Joint Expert Panel report reviewing the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) 2017 valuation, processes and assumptions. The report from the Panel makes a number of observations and recommendations.