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Durham UCU reject yesterday’s proposal to end pension dispute

Nationwide dissent as strike looks set to continue

The Durham UCU branch has rejected a proposal made yesterday between the UCU and UUK.

In an email sent to Durham UCU members this afternoon, Francis Pritchard confirmed that the Durham branch will be sending a representative to the UCU headquarters to represent Durham members' opposition to the proposal.

Email just sent to Durham UCU members:To All DUCU MembersFollowing a straw poll of members on the picket line,…

Posted by Durham University UCU on Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A document shared by Birkbeck UCU on Twitter this morning shows that so far over 45 UCU University branches have also rejected the proposal, including Aberdeen, Bath, Bristol, Cambridge, Nottingham, St Andrews and York.

#NoCapitulation has been trending on Twitter in a wave of nationwide resistance to last night's proposals by UUK and UCU. Numerous Durham lecturers have also taken to social media to express their disapproval of proposals, with History Professor Kay Schiller one of many expressing the "resounding 'No'" shared amongst the academic body today.

The UCU (Universities and College Union) and UUK (Universities UK) last night made a provisional agreement resolving the pensions issue that has seen nearly three weeks of strikes by university teaching staff.

Acas talks between UCU and UUK on Monday concluded with the agreement to revise the proposed benefits for staff, which includes pensions. The changes would begin in April 2019 and would last for a transitional period of 3 years, during which further discussions would take place in order to avoid future risks, and to explore alternatives.

Members are unhappy with being asked to pay out even more for their pensions. In addition, this would by no means be the end of the dispute as this resolution would only last for 3 years.

Picture by Karen Jones