Update 21/02/18: 11 Vice-Chancellors have now called for UUK to return to negotiations. More detailed updates are being posted on our News page.


Update 20/02/18: Strike action begins 22 February – join us from 8-11am at the picket line (front or back gate of the main campus). Full details of all strike action can be found here.


Update 7/02/18: Information for all members about upcoming Keele UCU meetings (e.g. the EGM, industrial action group meetings) can be found here. NB: EGM 12-1pm, 14 February (venue: CBA0.061).


Update 5/02/18: Specific information for students can be found here.


The Dispute

In late January, talks between UCU and the employers’ representative Universities UK (UUK) ended without agreement and UUK’s plans to transform the scheme were forced through by the chair’s casting vote.

The dispute centres on UUK’s proposals to end the defined benefit element of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension scheme. UCU says this would leave a typical lecturer almost £10,000 a year worse off in retirement than under the current set-up.

In the recent strike ballot UCU members overwhelmingly backed industrial action. Overall, 88% of members who voted backed strike action and 93% backed action short of a strike. The turnout was 58%. A full breakdown of the results by institution is available here.

UCU General Secretary, Sally Hunt, said: ‘Staff who have delivered the international excellence universities boast of are understandably angry at efforts to slash their pensions. They feel let down by vice-chancellors who seem to care more about defending their own pay and perks than the rights of their staff.

‘Strike action on this scale has not been seen before on UK campuses, but universities need to know the full scale of the disruption they will be hit with if they refuse to sort this mess out.’

The national UCU website has a timeline of the dispute and this will be regularly updated.

We have produced a number of Keele UCU newsletters on this issue as it developed:
November Newsletter
January Newsletter

The substantive analysis produced for the two newsletters has been combined into one report for members’ convenience.


Strike days were announced on 29 January, as follows:

Week one – Thursday 22 and Friday 23 February (two days): picket 8-11am, front and back gate, both days.

Week two – Monday 26, Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 February (three days): picket 8-11am on Monday.

Week three – Monday 5, Tuesday 6, Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 March (four days): picket 8-11am on Tuesday.

Week four – Monday 12, Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14, Thursday 15 and Friday 16 March (five days): picket 8-11am, Wednesday and Friday.

Anyone can join us on the picket line to show their solidarity and support.


Information for all members about upcoming meetings (e.g. the EGM, industrial action group meetings) can be found here.


We will update this page, our News page and our Events page regularly during the dispute, please check back.