World Media

University strikers reject pension deal

University strikers reject pension deal

The ongoing strike of Durham University academics could be suspended from Wednesday after a provisional agreement was struck over proposed pension cuts.

The University and College Union (UCU) said that talks with Universities UK (UUK) had concluded, and that a three-year transitional benefit arrangement had been agreed on - subject to consultation with its members.

There would also be an independent re-evaluation of the size of the pension scheme's deficit.

The newspaper said the interim arrangement would come into effect from April next year if the parties agree to it.

The maintenance of detailed benefits would be supported by higher contributions by both employers and employees, rising from 18% to 19.3% for employers and from 8% to 8.7% for employees.

The hashtag #NoCapitulation was trending on Twitter as staff members and students took to social media to voice their anger.

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An open letter from staff opposing the deal had argued that it was only postponing long-term decisions about the pension scheme and called for industrial action to continue to "force a more decisive victory".

"The employers' valuation has been demonstrated to be bogus, yet the UCU leadership is now accepting to increase our contribution while we re-evaluate". In our opinion we should keep going and throw UUK's offer out all together.

"The agreement on benefits noted above is transitional for the period of this valuation (from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2022)".

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

The University of Liverpool branch issued a statement which said that members "in our branch and across the country did not join one of the most impressive shows of collective solidarity in the face of restrictive trade union laws for a compromise offer that does not guarantee them decency in retirement".

But this has been rejected by a meeting of the union's representatives - with warnings that it was "completely unacceptable" after weeks of strikes and loss of earnings.


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