Motion to Congress

Passed at an Emergency General Meeting today, the following motion will go to UCU Scotland Congress on Friday.

This branch notes:

  1. That the evidence base for the proposed cuts to USS has been widely discredited and has been rejected by a majority of University leaders;
  2. The strength of the opposition to the proposed settlement (12/3/2018) across the UK.

This branch believes that it is illogical as well as detrimental to members to pursue changes to USS in the absence of a credible evidence base.

This branch calls on UCU Scotland to:

  1. Support branches in working with students and mobilising for escalation of the dispute, including further strike action;
  2. Work with national leadership to demand retention of the USS status quo pending a further valuation in which members can have confidence;
  3. Work with MSPs to use their influence with university leaders to bring UUK back to the negotiating table; and,
  4. Seek out and pursue fund-raising opportunities to support the Fighting Fund/local hardship funds
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Petitions, Open Letters, Useful Stuff

A preliminary list of things to be looking at elsewhere. Please contact the website email address with suggestions to add below.

Petitions etc.

Stop punishing striking staff twice over

Vice Chancellors: stop threatening staff with punitive pay deductions if they refuse to reschedule classes cancelled due to strike action. These threats make a mockery of the right to strike without penalty other than loss of pay for strike days. They are damaging your university’s international reputation and relationships with staff.

No Deficit = No Change

Petition launched by UCL UCU – No to CPI erosion. Defend the ‘status quo’ in USS.

UK Government: Accept a role as guarantor to the USS pension scheme

The USS pension deficit is due to a “self sufficiency in gilts” valuation method that models what would happen if the pre-92 universities went bankrupt. If Government believes this is possible, this would be a national tragedy! They should therefore indemnify USS, until the next valuation at least.

Make Universities UK subject to the Freedom of Information Act

We ask that the appropriate Government Minister make an order under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Section 5(1) designating Universities UK as a public authority, so making Universities UK subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

The USS trustee board – USS must show its workings

USS should make its draft valuation report and all associated papers on methodology and inputs public as a matter of urgency.

Fighting for Pensions Justice in UK Higher Education

Crowdfunder for specialist legal advice about potential mismanagement by the Board of Trustees of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

Open Letters

Open Letter to IS colleagues

Pension Information

Pension Modeller

This is a simple web app that estimates the impact of the USS’s proposed changes to the pension scheme. It forecasts the benefits that you will accrue under three different schemes:

  • What you would get if the scheme remained unchanged (Defined benefits, DB)
  • What USS is proposing (Defined contribution, DC)
  • What the Teachers Pension Scheme provides (TPS) for comparison

Thanks for Week 1 and News for Week 2

IMG-20180228-WA0001
New Rector, Ann Henderson, with pickets at Moray House

Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone who took part in this week’s strike action.

Whatever claims the University may make, there was a demonstrable impact, whether that took the form of staying away from work (which was clearly the case judging by the lack of people in, for example, the George Square area) or by the numbers who turned up for picketing.

It was truly wonderful to see so many of us make that public stand, and I imagine many of us were overwhelmed by the incredible support provided by our students (whether that was joining us on the picket lines or providing porridge!).

The strength of the action has already had a tangible impact. As most of you will know, talks with UUK, facilitated by ACAS, begin on Monday. Without our action, this would not have happened, and we should all congratulate ourselves for this achievement.

Obviously, this is a very welcome step in the right direction. However, talks are not the same as re-opening negotiations. Given UUK’s reluctance to do this without pre-conditions, UCU is continuing our strike action: so we will all be out again next week.

Locally, the Principal has agreed to meet with the Professoriate tomorrow (Friday 2nd) lunchtime to discuss the open letter they sent him last week. We understand we should expect a statement after that meeting, so look out for more news tomorrow.

Next Week

Our ability to plan for next week has been interrupted by the University’s closure; however, the committee are discussing options and will publicise these as soon as possible.

In the meantime, it would be very helpful if you could email ucu@ed.ac.uk to confirm that you would be willing to picket next week. Please bear with us, and if at all possible please send us a non-university email address at which we can contact you.

If you are unable to picket but would be willing to help out in other ways, please also email us and we will get back to you.

Declaration Forms

Finally, most staff will have already received a request from the appropriate person in their local area to declare when they were on strike. This is perfectly reasonable; however, please remember that you only need to declare strike action in retrospect, so – for now – you need only confirm whether you were on strike on Monday-Wednesday of this past week. As the University is closed today, UCUE would suggest members wait until tomorrow to fill it out.

Some Photos from Twitter

See loads more on our Twitter feed

 

And We’re Off

alloutforuss_bannerMonday 26 Feb will be our first date of 14 days strike action.  Members should all be receiving updates by email.  If you are not, please contact us

Members who have volunteered for picket line duty should have all received instructions.  Again, if you haven’t, please contact us

The national UCU website has live coverage on the Strike Live! page.

Further information on the strike can be found on the main Strike for USS pages

Check the website calendar for details of events planned for strike days.  Some events are in place and others will follow, so please check back.

Please send photos from picket lines and other strike events to edinburgh.ucu@gmail.com or tweet to @ucuedinburgh with hashtag #strikeforuss