Last week, colleagues at 58 universities took three days of strike action in defence of pensions and working conditions. They are now on action-short-of-strike (ASOS), with more strike days to come in the new year.

At QMUL we fell just short of the 50% turnout required to take action. Along with 41 other branches in a similar position, we are reballoting from today until 14 January in order to join further action in the new year. So please watch out for your ballots in the post.

Amid claim and counter-claim and news that vice-chancellors have been misled about the scale of pension cuts by employers body UUK (on the board of which our VC sits), members have asked for more clarity about the USS dispute.

We are therefore hosting a USS pensions information meeting this Thursday 9 December, 5-6pm on Zoom, with two guest speakers. Michael Otsuka (LSE)  is a member of UCU’s national negotiating team for USS and a sharp analyst of the scheme’s mismanagement. Ewan McGaughey (KCL) is President of KCL UCU and leading member of a team that issued a legal challenge to the USS Trustee last month. 

The meeting will cover all aspects of the USS dispute, including its background, the position of the USS Trustee and the employers as well as our union, the national picture, and the industrial action. There will be substantial time set aside for questions and discussion.

Here is the link to join:

The meeting is open to members and non-members alike. We would particularly like to reach colleagues who we do not usually reach, and who, in the absence of proper information from USS or the employers about the proposals, may have little idea of the threat to their pension. So as well as attending the meeting, please forward the details to your non-member colleagues. You can also print out this poster to put on your door.

We look forward to seeing many of you on Thursday.