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USS Joint Negotiation Committee (JNC) meeting today

May 10, 2011

Today (10th May) a meeting of the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) for USS has been called.  UCU negotiators have not attended recent JNC meetings for fear that the ‘independent’ chair would use his casting vote to railroad the Employers Pension Forum’s (EPF) desperately mean proposals for reform through.  Remember the chair pushed through the EPFs proposals though to ‘consultation’ in the last quorate meeting.  In the meantime, the USS board has taken extreme action and threatened UCU negotiators, personally, with legal action and bankruptcy if they do not attend JNC.

UCU negotiators have not been idle in the ensuing time, they have proposed through ACAS, and in confidence, counter proposals to those of the EPF.  UCU have sought negotiations outside of the remit of JNC due to the risks involved in JNC becoming quorate. However, EPF have refused, flat, to engage.

So let us be clear, both sides of the negotiating teams for USS’ future, UCU and EPF alike, agree there needs to be changes to the scheme to ensure its continued health and existence.  Furthermore neither side has expected the employers alone to shoulder the brunt of any short fall in USS.  Also UCU negotiators have said from the outset that if they were in a position to design a pension scheme from scratch they would wish for career averaging to be used (just as long as a parable accrual rate is use (in the 1/50th region not 1/80th).

Today it would appear it something of a tipping point.

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