Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Stuck on the Sidelines

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Stuck on the Sidelines

Article excerpt

The University and College Union's decision to suspend its industrial action while negotiations take place over the Universities Superannuation Scheme in the pre-1992 sector is unwelcome. While the union's USS conference in London last month voted to demand the replacement of Sir Andrew Cubie, the so-called "independent' chair of USS, refused to accept the cuts imposed since October 2011 and demanded a settlement no worse than in the Teachers' Pension Scheme, the decision to suspend industrial action leaves no means by which the UCU can effectively enforce these demands.

It is now explicitly recognised by the UCU and the employers that the TPS dispute in the post-1992 sector will play a major role in the final negotiated settlement for the USS. The reason is simple: the settlement currently imposed on the USS makes it one of the UK's worst public sector pension schemes. Whether one considers its accrual rate, the rate of indexing for existing contributions or the inflation indexing of pension payments, it is demonstrably worse than even the coalition proposals for the TPS. …

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