As you know, the USS trustees met yesterday. We haven’t heard anything yet about any relevant outcomes or decisions from that meeting, but we’ll update you if and when we hear, especially if it’s in time to potentially inform your voting intentions.
With just one more day to go until the ballot closes, we thought a ‘virtual head-to-head’ based again on the excellent USS Briefs, might be helpful for those of you who have still to decide.
Jo Grady, a pensions expert from the University of Sheffield, argues that:
Voting to accept comes with very few guarantees, but more worryingly, essentially hands UUK everything they want. We have leverage now, we have momentum now, and that should not be forfeited for this deal. Don’t accept a deal just because it’s what’s been put on the table and it looks ok-ish. You didn’t strike for this. Demand better. Demand fairness… Rejecting now, with a threat of more industrial action in order to get a commitment to DB, is the only real option if we want to keep our DB pension. The objective of the next phase of action would be to get the commitment from UUK. This might take the form of written commitments in less woolly language than that currently used, accompanied by an agreement to work with UCU in USS discussions.
HEC member Amanda Williams from the University of East Anglia argues that:
I’ve voted yes to accepting the UUK proposal because I think that is the route that is most likely to protect our pension. That doesn’t mean that I trust UUK. It means that I believe that the valuation panel provides the best mechanism for resolving both the current dispute and avoiding future attacks on our pension. If UUK lets us down I trust my friends and colleagues in UCU to be ready to take effective industrial action in future.
If you’re looking for more technical information before deciding which way to vote, you may be interested in: Protecting Defined Benefit; managers, trustees, regulators, and the possibility of a pension scheme that works for us, by John Murray, formerly of Zurich Insurance.
The ballot closes Friday 13th April at 2 p.m.
- Ballot email not received or lost – request a replacement (closes at 2.00 p.m. today, Thurs 12th)
- USS Briefs – a set of papers by academics on the many dimensions of the USS pensions dispute, written in response to the UUK proposal of 23rd March 2018
- USS Materials – a comprehensive list of links to articles about the dispute, arranged chronologically and categorised by type.
- Follow the latest discussion on Twitter via hashtags #USSStrike and #RejectUUKDeal