Two messages for staff intending to take part in UCU's strike action

A version of this message was sent to all academic, research and teaching staff, and support staff in grades 6 and above, on 21 February.

We contacted staff last week about arrangements for the UCU industrial action beginning tomorrow, Thursday 22 February.

We are contacting staff again with two messages for those who intend to take part in the strike action. If you are not participating in this action, you do not need to read the information below or take any action.

Reporting arrangements for those taking part in strike action

We would like to remind you that you are asked to notify us of your participation in the strike using the online form. We would ask that you do this as soon as possible and by no later than 8.45am on your first day of participation.

Arrangements for USS contributions during industrial action

In the past, the University has made employer contributions and deducted employee contributions for staff who have been on strike. However USS has informed us that for the forthcoming period of industrial action they have amended the arrangements for pension contributions.

The main change is that death in service and incapacity benefits remain in place for scheme members regardless of whether pension contributions are being made for the days spent on strike.

However, accompanying this is a requirement that the University must now have your consent to continue your employee contributions in respect of days you are on strike. Without your consent, we cannot make deductions for your contributions and we cannot make our employer contributions.

This means that if you do not agree to continue making your employee contributions, you will not accrue benefits in the scheme for the days when you are on strike, although you will still be covered for death in service and incapacity benefits on those days. If you do choose to maintain your contributions, this will apply to all the contributions that you make (ie ordinary contributions and any AVCs).

We have added a question to the online form to ask respondents if they want to maintain their pension contributions when on strike. If you have already completed the form, you can revisit it to update your response.

It should be noted that the USS Trustee has reserved the right to review their policy if the industrial action proposed for February/March 2018 is extended or further action is proposed.

We have updated the pension FAQ published on 12 February with this information.