UUK response to UCU ballot results

5 Nov 2021

Universities UK has responded on behalf of the 340 employers in USS to the latest UCU industrial action ballots on pensions.

A Universities UK spokesperson, on behalf of USS employers, said:

“While it is disappointing to see some UCU members think industrial action over pensions is justified, the union has failed to secure a mandate for industrial action in 31 of the 68 institutions where ballots took place on USS, meaning fewer branches have reached the threshold than in previous ballots. Union members voting 'yes' to strike action at eligible branches account for less than 7% of the scheme's total active membership.

“These results suggest that support for industrial action is limited. In most places where the threshold was reached, it was the votes of those saying “no” to action that carried the numbers over the 50% legal threshold.”

“The employers’ proposals for reform are the only viable plans under current regulations that will keep the scheme affordable for members and universities and keep the defined benefit section of the scheme open. Discussions with UCU will continue, and the consultation is currently taking place with the scheme’s wider membership.”

“Universities facing the prospect of industrial action are well prepared to mitigate the impact on students’ learning and minimise disruption for those staff choosing not to take part. The majority of university staff are not members of UCU.”