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Tonight, on 12th March, UCU and UUK proposed a deal through ACAS to end the ongoing industrial dispute over USS pensions. The Students’ Union UCL Postgraduate Association calls on the UCU national leadership and its negotiators should withdraw this proposal.

If accepted, the deal would allow for the long-term erosion of staff pensions - including above all for our PhD students, many of whom have been on strike in protest at what would leave them with deep financial insecurity should they enter academia. The strength of their collective strike efforts, together with the wonderful solidarity actions and occupations from students, has already forced the employers onto the back foot; now is not the time for UCU to sell out its members.

Under this proposal, staff pension contributions would rise during a three-year ’transition period’, while employers’ contributions would increase by only 1.3 percent. At the end of this period the pension scheme would be reviewed once again, at which point staff would be demobilised and more easily pressured into accepting a worse deal.

To make matters worse, UCU is also proposing to call off strike action and to encourage staff to reschedule their teaching - for which they will not be paid - without consulting the membership.

This deal should be rejected, and we will support and any all strike actions going forward to win a fair pension for staff. Please sign the open letter calling on UCU to withdraw its proposal:…

Mark Crawford
Postgraduate Students’ Officer