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March against cuts to USS in Bristol, 12th March 2018. Photo: Jack Hazeldine

March against cuts to USS in Bristol, 12th March 2018. Photo: Jack Hazeldine

The strike is over: our fight is not

We recognise that members have voted to accept the offer from UUK and therefore to suspend the forthcoming strikes and programme of industrial action.

We don’t believe that they have done so with any great faith in the employers’ commitment to sustaining existing levels of provision nor with any conviction that the employers’ underlying determination to reduce their pension liabilities has suddenly disappeared.

We don’t believe that they have done so because they are confident that we have secured the guaranteed pensions to which we are entitled and for which we have fought so hard.

We don’t believe that it signals that members are willing to accept anything less than a Defined Benefit pension nor does it signal that we are no longer willing to take industrial action in pursuit of a decent pension.

We don’t believe that the ‘yes’ vote is an endorsement of the notion that there is a pensions ‘deficit’ that needs to be filled nor is it an acquiescence in any future increase in staff contributions to meet an alleged deficit.

Instead, we believe that the ‘yes’ vote reveals a pride that we have pushed the employers to recognise our right to DB and that we should give the proposed Joint Expert Panel the opportunity to generate a valuation that will not lead to an inferior pension. We'd also like to pay great thanks to the Warden of Goldsmiths Pat Loughrey for all of his assistance and solidarity.

In this context, we believe that it is vital that activists in every branch continue to organise as we learned to do so powerfully during the strikes. We call on all members and branches to:

1. Organise branch meetings to call for a Special Higher Education Sector Conference which can discuss how best to pursue the defence of our pensions and examine how effectively our internal structures have functioned;

2. Maintain the strike committees and staff-student forums established in recent months in order to campaign over issues such as casualisation, democratic governance and the financial priorities of our institutions;

3. Continue to campaign for our Defined Benefit pensions, to scrutinise the work of the Joint Expert Panel and to insist on transparency and deadlines in its work such that we can restart industrial action as and when necessary.

UCU Branch Solidarity Network

Des Freedman, Goldsmiths, University of London

Brenna Bhandar, SOAS, University of London

Janna Graham, Goldsmiths, University of London

Ashok Kumar, Birkbeck, University of London

Nicholas Beuret, University of Essex

Feyzi Ismail, SOAS, University of London

Susan Kelly, Goldsmiths, University of London

Phoebe Moore, University of Leicester

Louis Moreno, Goldsmiths, University of London

Marina Vishmidt, Goldsmiths, University of London

Edgar Schmitz, Goldsmiths, University of London

David Harvie, University of Leicester

Milly Williamson, Goldsmiths, University of London

Daniel Fuchs, SOAS, University of London

Pat Loughrey, Goldsmiths, University of London

Jane Elliott, King’s College London

Ewen Speed, University of Essex

Claire English, Queen Mary

Camille Barbagallo, University of Kent

Mariya Ivancheva, University of Leeds

Kate Hardy, University of Leeds

Jordan Savage, University of Essex

Clement Mouhot, University of Cambridge

Anna Gumucio Ramberg, Sussex (student member)

Oliver Bones, Research Fellow, University of Salford

Janna Graham, Goldsmiths

Gareth Brown, Lecturer, University of Leicester

Aron Rossman-Kiss, Goldsmiths

Irina Cheresheva, University of Leicester

Maddalena Tacchetti, University of Leicester

Sai Englert, SOAS, University of London

Shela Sheikh, Goldsmiths, University of London

Nicolas Vass, University of Leicester

Anne-Marie Angelo, University of Sussex

Sophie Jones, Birkbeck, University of London

Athina Karatzogianni, University of Leicester

Sahil Dutta, University of Warwick

Gary Riley-Jones, Goldsmiths, University of London

Dhanveer Brar, Goldsmiths, University of London

Mijke van der Drift, Goldsmiths, University of London

Svenja Bromberg, Goldsmiths, University of London

Tamar Steinitz, Goldsmiths, University of London

Jackie Huertanica, Goldsmiths, University of London

Emma Jackson, Goldsmiths, University of London

Vik Loveday, Goldsmiths, University of London

Kate Nash, Goldsmiths, University of London

Becky Gardiner, Goldsmiths, University of London

Tassia Kobylinska, Goldsmiths, University of London

Rodger Kibble, Goldsmiths, University of London

Kate Devlin, Goldsmiths, University of London

Marijn Nieuwenhuis, University of Warwick

Charlotte Heath-Kelly, University of Warwick

Tom Chivers, Goldsmiths, University of London

Sophie Allen, Keele University

João Florêncio, University of Exeter

Tassia Kobylinska, Goldsmiths

Becky Gardiner, Goldsmiths

Kate Nash, Goldsmiths

Damian Owen-Board, Goldsmiths, University of London

Leon Danon, University of Exeter

Emily Rosamond, Goldsmiths, University of London

Jamie Woodcock, University of Oxford

Philippa Burt, Goldsmiths, University of London

Catherine Grant, Goldsmiths College

Gholam Khiabany, Goldsmiths

Carrie Benjamin, SOAS, University of London

Malte Laub, King’s College London

Xanthe Whittaker, University of Leeds

Steven Parfitt, Loughborough University

Marion Coutts, Goldsmiths

Paddy McDaid, Birkbeck, University of London


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