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USS pension dispute 

This branch congratulates UCU branch members on their active participation in the campaign to oppose the worsening of pension entitlements under USS. 

We recognise that the three days of strike action, two in March and one in November 2011, were very well supported by members of this branch.  We would also want to put on record our gratitude for both:

  • the support provided by the Students’ Union and its officers throughout this dispute, and particularly in hosting the very large meeting of staff and students in November;
  • the solidarity shown by Unison members on the strike days.

Further, we commend members for their involvement in action short of strike action during this period.  We recognise both the opportunities offered and the difficulties posed by such forms of action, and we applaud the preparedness of members to engage in honest, democratic discussion and debate on the strategies and tactics that we adopted as a branch. 

This branch notes that over a million trade unionists were involved in the strike day on 30 November.  We recognise that this was a clear indication that there is widespread popular opposition to the current government’s attack on the public sector and that trade unionists are prepared to take action. We welcome the fact that a number of trade unions, including our own, are continuing to work together in the struggle against the imposition of worsened pension schemes. 

We therefore regret the decision to suspend the action over USS.  We remain concerned that this decision will tend to separate the USS dispute from the broader struggle in defence of pension rights, thereby weakening both the specific and the more general campaigns.

 We expect UCU HE Conference in June to make a sober assessment of the strategy that has been adopted and to scrutinise carefully the gains that have been won through negotiation before determining whether there is a need to reinstate the action that is currently suspended.

Resolution passed at branch meeting on 14 March 2012