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Potential industrial action - 1/11/2019

We are disappointed with the outcome of the ballot over pensions and pay. National industrial action on university campuses will have a negative impact on some students which we wish to avoid.

Whilst we fully respect the right of staff to take part in legal industrial action our priority is providing education for our students. The University will remain open and will do everything possible to minimise disruption to teaching and learning.

This action comes at an extremely challenging time for universities. We are sympathetic to staff concerns on pay and pensions. We want a solution that rightly recognises the efforts of our hardworking and dedicated staff, and that considers the difficult financial environment and the challenges all universities face.

Universities UK has worked hard to secure the defined benefit pension scheme that unions have asked for, avoid much higher mandatory increases and allow time for an independent panel to recommend longer-term reforms to the scheme. This has meant asking staff and universities to pay more in pension contributions, but limited to a further 0.8% for staff while the University will contribute a further 1.6%.

University staff have already received a 1.8% pay uplift, backdated to August 2019. This is on top of an annual increment for some staff. We believe this is fair given the tough financial environment and increasing challenges we face.

Universities UK is the body representing all universities in USS negotiations. The University cannot solve the pensions dispute on its own. That’s why we welcome the fact that UUK have said that they remain open to further talks with UCU to discuss how the dispute can be resolved without industrial action, which would be damaging for staff and students.