University academics strike to defend their pensions

Support our strike to defend USS

In defence of their pension scheme (USS) members of the University and College Union (UCU) at Bristol University and 61 other affected universities will be holding fourteen days of escalating action during February and March.

The dates are Thursday 22 February, Friday 23 February, Monday 26 February, Tuesday 27 February,  Wednesday 28 February,  Monday 5 March, Tuesday 6 March, Wednesday 7 March, Thursday 8 March, Monday 12 March, Tuesday 13 March, Wednesday 14 March, Thursday 15 March, Friday 16 March.

Thus far the following has been arranged :-
Tuesday 20th February
18:00:- The Bristol Branch of the UCU are holding an evening event, co-hosted by Bristol Student Labour Party called ‘Why is my lecturer on strike?’ Lecture Theatre 3, Woodland Road Complex, BS8 1TB.
Thursday, 22nd February
08:00: Picket lines staffed Senate House (Tyndall Avenue, BS8 1TH).
10:30: Rally, Rally, Senate House (Tyndall Avenue, BS8 1TH). We suggest anyone who would like to join us and show support should head to this location either for rally/march or picket.
11:00-11:30: March to Wills Memorial Building (Queens Road, BS8 1RJ)
11:30-12:00: Rally, Wills Memorial Building
12:00-: Teach-Outs will be held at Woodlands Church, Belgrave Road, Bristol, BS8 2AA. Topics include the history of the trade union movement, and the anniversary of 1968 protests.
Monday, 26th February
08:00: Picket lines staffed (Tyndall Avenue, BS8 1TH)
10:30: Rally, Senate House (Tyndall Avenue, BS8 1TH)
13:30: Wills Memorial Building (Queens Road, BS8 1RJ)
14:00: Senate begins
14:00-14:30: Rally, Wills Memorial Building (Queens Road, BS8 1RJ)

Bristol Trades Union Council urges all trade unionists to support the members of the UCU in this industrial dispute.

USS is the collective pensions scheme for pre-92 universities.

UUK, the representative body to the USS pension scheme, have announced intentions to move from a defined benefits pension scheme to a defined contributions scheme. UCU has been in negotiations with UUK for over a year but has made no progress in overturning this. It means in essence that the current scheme which collectivises pension risk and pays a final pension linked to salary will be replaced by one which throws the risk onto the individual and makes the final salary dependent on the stock market. It has been calculated that the proposed changes will result in a loss of value of the pension of at least 20% with some estimates predicting 60% and more. Currently though, the scheme is fantastically successful with around £60bn of assets. It has a positive cash flow and so brings in every year more than it pays out. This situation is expected to continue for at least the next 30 years (or as far as can be predicted). But closing off new payments into this scheme will very rapidly move it to the situation where it will be in a negative cash flow and this could happen within 5 or 6 years.

More information can be found in this youtube clip: Understanding the USS pension situation

These changes represent the biggest attack on UCU’s members that has ever been mounted and require the biggest ever response.

In a ballot to take industrial action UCU members smashed though the Trade Union Bill requirement for a 50% turnout. More than 58% (a record) voted and there was record vote in favour of action, with 88% voting for strike action and 93% for action short of a strike. We are asking for support from all UCU members and fellow trade unionists.

Unless explicitly stated otherwise any commercial advertisements appearing on this page aren’t endorsed or supported by Bristol Trades Union Council.

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