Labour Research January 2018


Industrial news

The UCU lecturers’ and university staff union is balloting members in older pre-1992 universities over changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) being proposed by the university umbrella body, Universities UK.

The union said that independent analysis shows that a lecturer starting work today could be £208,000 worse off over the course of their retirement under the proposals to replace the USS defined benefit pension scheme with a defined contribution scheme. 

And lecturers would be £385,000 worse off than their counterparts at “post-92” universities in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt described the proposals as the worst she had seen “in 20 years of representing university staff”. The ballot for strike action closes on 19 January.

Elsewhere, unions are working to defend members’ jobs on a number of fronts. The GMB general union said it would be “working tirelessly” to reduce and minimise any proposed redundancies after the Asda supermarket chain said that more than 842 roles are at risk of a pay cut or redundancy. 

The Unite general union said it was demanding guarantees on no compulsory redundancies after General Electric announced restructuring plans which put the future of 1,100 jobs in its UK power division at risk. 

The union said it was also seeking talks with management at financial services company Legal and General over the announced sale of its mature savings business to Swiss Re, putting 500 jobs at risk at its Hove site.