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UUK and UCU announce joint talks over USS

Joint talks to discuss reform to the USS pension scheme have been set by Universities UK (UUK) and the University and College Union (UCU). 

Representatives from UUK and UCU will meet five times in January to agree the approach for progressing the recommendations from the recent second report by the USS Joint Expert Panel (JEP). 

The talks will be facilitated by the chair of the JEP Joanne Segars and attended by senior members of the organisations including UUK's Chief Executive Alistair Jarvis, UCU General Secretary Jo Grady, and USS Group Chief Executive Bill Galvin. 

Priorities for discussion include full consideration of the recommendations of the Joint Expert Panel’s second report; jointly agreeing a refreshed scheme purpose and valuation principles; reforming the governance; and exploring different approaches to the valuation methodology for 2020. 

Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor, said: “This is good news for all concerned. These talks give all parties the opportunity to work collaboratively towards a resolution that works for everybody and secures the long-term future of USS.” 

Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK, which represents 340 USS employers, said: "We’re pleased to be able to move forward quickly with these tripartite talks and encouraged by the strong commitment from all parties to work constructively together. 

"Employers are committed to ensuring that USS remains one of the very best pension schemes in the country. We want to agree and deliver a long-term solution which is attractive and affordable for both members and employers.” 

Dates for the five initial meetings in January, which may be followed by further meetings depending on progress, are: 

  • Wednesday 15 January
  • Friday 17 January
  • Thursday 23 January
  • Monday 27 January
  • Wednesday 29 January

Meanwhile, dialogue is continuing between UCEA and UCU regarding pay and related issues. This dialogue has been focusing on the potential for new sector-level work and commitments on the important issues raised around workload, gender /ethnicity pay gaps and casual employment. 

By: James Hakner
Last updated: Friday, 10 January 2020