Activists meeting to build the 'No' campaign at SOAS, 4th April. Photo: Shabbir Lakha Activists meeting to build the 'No' campaign at SOAS, 4th April. Photo: Shabbir Lakha

Lecturers and supporters met at a national activists meeting today to discuss the campaign to reject UUK’s proposed deal

As the UCU begin balloting members on the deal that has been put forward by UUK, over a hundred lecturers and supporters met at an activists meeting in SOAS to discuss the next steps in the campaign to stop cuts to pensions and the further marketisation of universities – including by campaigning for a ‘No’ vote in the current ballot.

The deal that has been put forward is ambiguous, does not offer sufficient guarantees that university staff will not face cuts to defined benefits and is likely to be close to the deal that was already rejected during the wave of strike action last month.

The ballot will be open till 2pm on Friday 13th April, so the time to campaign for a ‘No’ vote is short. Getting out the arguments for why UCU members should vote against the deal immediately is crucial, and to that end the below draft motion can be submitted to your branch.

Motion: Vote NO

This branch notes

1That our industrial action has forced the employers to recognise our right to a guaranteed pension

2That the UUK’s latest offer lacks meaningful assurances on the retention of defined benefits, on comparability with our existing pensions, a timetable with meaningful deadlines in order to prevent stalling by the employers, and genuine transparency of the valuation process

3That UCU members want a negotiated settlement but that these assurances are vital before an offer is considered by all members

4The decision by the HEC to call an e-ballot over the most recent UUK offer

5That the offer was not a result of negotiations but rather, was presented to UCU by UUK without further discussion and did not adequately take into consideration the views of many UCU branches who called for further negotiations before the offer be put to all members

This branch recommends

1That, in the absence of sufficient guarantees, UCU members reject the current offer

2That UCU negotiators call for urgent talks with UUK in order to secure further assurances on the points raised above and to improve the offer before it is put to all members

3That industrial action remains live while these negotiations take place.