The statement following the 12th 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 to focus on the JNC and steps that could be taken to improve the effectiveness of the JNC. This followed earlier discussions which had identified a) some of the factors that were inhibiting the JNC from operating as effectively as it might and b) some of the features of a high-performing, effective JNC. This process had identified some common ground in terms of inhibitors as well as features of effectiveness.
The Tripartite Group considered an update from the JNC Effectiveness Group (JNCEG) which had been commissioned to consider issues around the effectiveness of the JNC. The JNCEG had received two “asks” from the Tripartite Group:
- An options paper which considered issues relating to the operation and effectiveness of the JNC, including their pros and cons
- To undertake an in-depth analysis to diagnose the JNC’s effectiveness (or otherwise), ie why the JNC is not operating effectively.
The JNCEG discussions had allowed time to consider a series of actions and behaviours which could be adopted by the JNC, stakeholder groups and USS which could contribute to the JNC’s long-term success and the continued building of trust. In particular, these focused on role and remit, trust, use of time and planning and effective meeting operation. The Tripartite Group agreed that the JNCEG’s work was progressing well and that it was clear that some good and honest discussions were taking place.
Based on the output from the JNCEG the Tripartite Group agreed it would be helpful if the JNCEG could consider roles and responsibilities of the JNC and any ways in which this might be different from the current position; views on the time commitment needed by JNC members, noting that there are now more demands on JNC members’ time; solutions as well as the analysis of what does not work well. It was noted that resolving these issues is critical and as such could not, and should not, be rushed.
The Tripartitie Group also considered future work programme. These included defining in further detail the role and scope of the Strategic Discussion Forum and work to help promote greater trust and confidence between the parties. It was noted that these items might require bi-lateral discussions between UCU and UUK initially.