Following several months of industrial action, University and College Union (UCU) members have voted in favor of the new Universities UK (UUK) pension proposal, suspending planned strikes.
The agreement will not make any changes to UCU member pension plans until at least April 2019, when the (Universities Superannuation Scheme) USS will be reviewed. A joint expert panel will be created that will evaluate and analyze the future of UUK and UCU to the valuation of the USS.
“Alongside UCU, we will seek support for this process from USS and The Pensions Regulator, fully recognising their statutory responsibilities and accountabilities,” a UUK spokesperson said in a statement.
Out of more than 30,000 votes, 64% of UCU members voted in favor of the offer.
Employers agreed they will not return to UUK’s original proposals, which would have changed the USS’ defined benefits plan to a defined contribution plan, leaving UCU members £10,000 per year less when they retired. The changes led to a 14-day strike in February and March,. Additional strikes planned for the summer exam season have now been suspended following the offer’s acceptance.
However, the legal strike mandates will stay live until the agreement is recognized by the pension scheme.