The statement following the 11th meeting between the University and College Union (UCU), Universities UK (UUK) and Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) in relation to the recommendations of the Joint Expert Panel's (JEP) second report has been published.
The statement from chair of the JEP Joanne Segars, which can also be found on the JEP website, is as follows:
The tripartite group continued its discussion around improving the effectiveness of the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC).
The group considered what each party felt ”good” would look like in relation to an effective and high-performing JNC. Views common to all three parties included operating with mutual trust, respect and openness and a clear recognition of roles and responsibilities.
The Group went on to consider the factors that currently hinder the effectiveness of the JNC, i.e. prevent it from operating with the features identified as characterising high performing. Issues identified included:
- Issues are not dealt with in a timely fashion and/ or real engagement comes too late in the process;
- Discussions are often adversarial and rarely collaborative
- Parties do not always have the information they need
- Roles and responsibilities may not well understood or can be conflated with other responsibilities.
It was agreed to provide these thoughts to the JNCEG to support their additional work diagnosing the factors that hinder the effectiveness (or otherwise) of the JNC. It was noted that the JNCEG would provide a report to the Tripartite Group shortly.
The tripartite group also received a presentation from UUK which summarized the final report from UUK on its consultation with USS employers on the recommendations of the JEP’s second report. This showed strong support for the JEP’s recommendations. Employers welcomed the proposal for a joint purpose statement, shared valuation principles and sustainability statement. There was also support for the JEP’s proposals around developing alternative paths to the valuation and using a dual discount rate methodology. Employers had also expressed a desire for a focus on value for money and a clear articulation of the trade-offs of risk and reward and how this would contribute to sustainability. There was support for the establishment of a valuation methodology discussion forum (which had already been set up by USS). There was also support for more flexibility for members to address the high level of opt outs from the Scheme. Mutuality was largely seen as being a positive feature of the Scheme.
It was agreed that the tripartite group would consider its future work programme at its next meeting in June.