Pensions Update &Sally Hunt at Next GM
General Meeting, Wednesday 23rd November 1pm CBA1.103
Sally Hunt, General Secretary of UCU, will visit Keele for our general meeting. All members are strongly encouraged to attend.
Update 23/11/11. Many thanks to all those Keele UCU members who came along to the well-attended meeting this lunchtime and to KUSU for their highly valued attendance and support.
National One-Day Strike
UCU and the employers have agreed to hold preparatory talks to establish a working group ‘to explore options, without prejudice, for future changes to the scheme within the context of the scheme’s sustainability’. However, a settlement of the dispute is still a long way away and the industrial action continues.
Unless there is a last-minute breakthrough, UCU will hold a national one-day strike on Wednesday 30th November to coincide with the day of action called by 14 other unions about cuts to the public sector pension schemes. All UCU members at Keele who belong to, or are eligible to join, USS will be called out on strike. Please contact Mark Featherstone at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to assist on the picket line.
A rally has also been organised in Stoke on this same day by the North Staffs TUC for all union members in the pensions dispute. Please meet outside the King’s Hall, Glebe Street, Stoke at 12.30pm on Wednesday 30th November. There will be speakers from the different unions involved.
USS members likely to be left with worse pensions than other public sector workers
For purposes of comparison, note that the government, under threat of strike action, is now offering improved terms on public sector pension schemes (not including USS): a CARE scheme with an accrual rate of 1/60th per year, with pension entitlements revalued during service in line with average earnings. This is very much more favourable than USS’s new CARE scheme, with its accrual rate of 1/80th per year, with pension entitlements revalued during service in line with the Consumer Price Index (or at an even lower rate when the CPI is above 5%). Note that the revaluation rate has a very substantial effect on the size on the pension, since it is compounded over the member’s entire career. These concessions are therefore highly significant, but they do not apply to USS. Unless we can win similar concessions for USS we are likely to be left with much worse pension arrangements than all other workers in the public services.
Keep up the working to contract
The present industrial action of ‘working to contract’ will continue. Working to contract means boycotting certain activities that we would normally do as part of our employment, on the grounds that they are goodwill or ‘citizenship’ activities or that they are beyond a full workload (see the guidance at http://www.keeleucu.co.uk/guidance-on-asos/ and http://defenduss.web.ucu.org.uk/faqs). You can read more about the beneficial side-effects of the work to contract action on the Defend USS site.
Please contact one of the committee members below if you have any questions about how to apply work to contract to your own case. Any victimisation of members taking part in the action should be reported to us immediately.
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