The statement following the 13th meeting between the University and College Union (UCU), Universities UK (UUK) and the 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 Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) and steps that could be taken to improve the effectiveness of the JNC.
The Tripartite Group (TG) considered a note from the JNC Effectiveness Group (JNCEG) which set out in further detail the JNCEG’s approach to taking forward measures to improve the operation of the JNC. The JNCEG had agreed to split its work into two phases:
- Phase 1: Improvements that could be made in the short term. These could include changes to meeting formalities, a focus on training and induction for new JNC members, more effective use of time and work planning, and a commitment from all parties to improved timeliness of communications. It was intended to present a firmer set of ‘quick wins’ to the TP after the summer.
- Phase 2: A ‘deeper dive’ into the issues that were preventing the JNC from being as effective as the parties wished it to be. This would be a longer piece of work which would likely take a number of months to complete. The JNCEG had also agreed that it could be beneficial to consider decision-making processes in other, large, schemes.
The TG considered this a sensible approach and agreed that the issues to be covered in the deep dive, including consideration of roles and responsibilities, would need a longer discussion. It would be important that that phase of work was clearly defined and the JNCEG was asked to draft a potential Terms of Reference for the TG to review in the context of its initial asks.
It was agreed that at a future meeting further discussions would take place to agree arrangements for the Strategic Discussion Forum. It was also agreed to return to the issues of trust and confidence as well as meeting the needs of members.