March 13, 2018 01:16:21by

Striking university staff call on union to reject pensions deal

Striking university staff call on union to reject pensions deal

University staff who have been on strike across the UK for 10 days have expressed their dissatisfaction with a deal between employers and union bosses in a bitter dispute over pensions.

The University and College Union (UCU) agreed on an interim solution with Universities UK (UUK) on Monday evening after six days of talks through conciliation service Acas.

But the union’s higher education committee and branch representatives will have to agree to the deal today before any future strike action is suspended.

Union members and branches have taken to Twitter, using the hashtag #NoCapitulation, to show their disapproval of the revised proposals – which would require employees and employers to pay higher pension contributions.

More than 7,000 people have signed an open letter rejecting the agreement between the union and the employers' organisation.

University staff are staging a protest at the UCU headquarters in north London today to show their dissatisfaction with the interim arrangement - where higher contributions would need to be paid for three years from April 2019.

Protesters called on Sally Hunt, general secretary of UCU, to listen to them and to continue the strike. 

Members of staff at more than 60 universities across the country have been striking in protest at changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

Tens of thousands of students have signed petitions demanding refunds for lost university lectures and classes.

King’s College London is looking to directly compensate affected students and other universities are looking at putting the money they save from not paying striking staff into support funds.

The row centres on proposals that would change the USS from a “defined benefit” scheme, which gives workers a guaranteed income in their retirement, to a purely “defined contribution” scheme, in which pensions are subject to fluctuations in the stock market.

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