USS board intimidate UCU representatives
Five UCU members who represent all USS members on the USS Joint Negotiating Committee are being intimidated.
We remind you of the result of the pre-Christmas ballot:
Question: Do you agree to the employers’ proposals to change the USS scheme?:
Total responses at Leeds:
This was commensurate with the national response:
No 30,318 (96.3%)
Yes 1,162 (3.7%)
UCU has been willing all along to meet the employers at ACAS to discuss this impasse over our pensions. Their refusal to go to arbitration led to the most well-supported strikes in our union’s history two weeks ago.
Now the employers have escalated the dispute with a direct attack on UCU representatives.
Lawyers acting on behalf of the joint USS board have written to the UCU reps on that board and have threatened them with High Court action. These five reps are also threatened with being made personally liable for costs. The reason given is UCU’s refusal to attend the USS Joint Negotiating Committee, preferring arbitration.
Why has UCU refused to attend the USS Joint Negotiating Committee? In the past, we have seen the independent chair use his casting vote to vote in favour of the employers’ proposals, despite the overwhelming opposition of members of the scheme, as evidenced above. If our representatives attended the meeting, it would act de facto as a vehicle for imposing discredited proposals that scheme members have overwhelmingly rejected. If we walk through those doors, the scheme is rubber stamped, and members’ concerns would go unheard.
UCU are prepared to return to the JNC if the independent chair undertakes not to use his casting vote again. Read the exchange of letters over this issue here.
By refusing to make the JNC quorate, your representatives have played a critical role in defending your pensions. This is why they now face significant intimidation.
UCU members are recommended to read the letter from Sally Hunt emailed to them yesterday, 5 April.