There will be a branch meeting on Wednesday at 12pm to discuss the latest developments in the USS pension scheme. The discussion will give you the opportunity to help decide the direction of the campaign to defend your pension.

Last week employers forced through savage cuts to members’ retirement income. The employers did so without even considering UCU’s alternative proposals. During the Joint Negotiation meeting, the employers refused to accept a small increase in their own contributions, while also refusing to provide the same level of employer ‘covenant support’ for UCU’s alternative proposals as they were willing to provide for their own. You can find out what the impact will be on your retirement income using this modelling tool. UCU reports that the new changes mean a typical member of the USS scheme on a £42k lecturer’s salary, aged 37, will suffer a 35% loss to the guaranteed retirement benefits. There will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions about these developments at the branch meeting on Wednesday.

The branch meeting is held ahead of the UCU Special Higher Education Sector Conference, which will discuss key strategic decisions regarding the upcoming strike action. Motions will be presented to discuss the timing of industrial action, the nature of the balloting process, and whether to link the action to the ongoing campaign over the four fights (pay, casualisation, equality, and workload). You can see a list of the detailed motions here.

As Queen Mary branch will be sending delegates to this conference to vote on these motions, the discussion on Wednesday will be used to help your delegates decide how to vote. This is your opportunity to have your say on how to defend your pension.

The meeting will be held on Zoom. You can join the meeting through the link sent to your email on Friday.