BREAKING: Universities UK FINALLY agree to negotiate with UCU in an attempt to halt the lecturer strikes
Took them long enough
In a statement released last night, UCU – the trade union for staff in higher education – have expressed their pleasure at Universities UK's decision to resume negotiations over the pension dispute that has lead to 61 higher education institutions taking part in 14 day strikes that are due to occur over a month long period.
At this current point, the planned strike action is still due to take place but a resumption of negotiations means the chances of the strikes running their full course are significantly less likely.
In a statement, UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: "We are pleased the employers have agreed to more talks. Today UCU tabled proposals which provide the basis for settling this damaging dispute. We have listened not just to our members, but also to the many university leaders who have contributed ideas.
"At the core of our proposals is for universities to accept a small amount of increased risk, but only at a level a majority have recently said they are comfortable with. Doing this would enable us to provide a decent, guaranteed pension at a more modest cost with smaller contribution increases.
"UCU has been impressed by the ideas of many vice-chancellors who have intervened in the dispute. Our proposals for long-term reform reflect an attempt to reach a consensus around the challenges we face."