BREAKING: Edinburgh UCU members set to reject a proposed agreement to end strike action
Exams may well be affected
Despite what appeared to be a breakthrough in talks between UUK and the UCU on Monday, it doesn’t look like we will be seeing the end of strike action in the immediate future.
Discussions on Monday saw a deal proposed which would see a three-year transitional agreement implemented. Where under the original scheme defined benefits would be scrapped entirely, within this transitional period employers would contribute a set percentage to employee pensions. Following this three-year period talks would be re-opened.
This is not the deal that I have put my research and my students' educations on hold for. This is not the deal that I stood outside for hours in a blizzard for. This is NOT the deal we have been striking for.#NoCapitulation #ussstrike #ucustrike
— Donna Yates is on Strike. (@DrDonnaYates) March 12, 2018
This proposal is set to be considered at a UCU meeting on Tuesday, however the initial reaction online and at the pickets suggests a positive response is unlikely.
The hash tag ‘No Capitulation’ has been trending on Twitter, whilst the Edinburgh branch of the UCU has reiterated the motion passed at their general meeting on Friday, prior to the deal being proposed.
.@ucuedinburgh meeting. Can't hold it inside because the @EdinburghUni students have occupied the building in support of #USSstrike #UCUstrike
Reject deal incl premise of valuation, rescheduling of teaching for free. pic.twitter.com/RaLps8NJTw
— Ailsa Henderson (@ailsa_henderson) March 13, 2018
This motion indicates the union’s belief in continuing to seek negotiations without suspending strike action, as well as a willingness to escalate action should an agreement not be reached by the end of the initial 14 days of strike action.
Crucially for students, this escalation would be accompanied by an assessment boycott, meaning a high potential for exams to be disrupted should nothing change in the next week or so.
— UCU Edinburgh (@ucuedinburgh) March 12, 2018
UCU Edinburgh have also highlighted their belief that no settlement should be made until UUK agrees to retain the current defined benefit scheme. Yesterday’s proposals are a long way from this, and given UUK’s insistence of the un-affordability of such a scheme, it looks like the dispute could run for some time yet.