New Year Update on USS Negotiations and Deadlines

USS axe animation - wide

The latest update for USS members from the UCU general secretary on the extended negotiation timetable and the approaching ballot deadline.

Dear colleague

Happy new year from us all at UCU.

Wherever you work and whatever you do the current proposals to end guaranteed USS pensions will drastically affect you and your family.

Just before Christmas we managed to persuade your employers to extend negotiations on USS until 23 January.

That makes the announcement of our ballot result on 19 January critical to the outcome of this dispute.

The law says we need at least a 50% turnout in each workplace so if not enough members vote in your institution you will not be able to join any national action the rest of the union takes.

We know that members have already voted in their thousands but I don’t want to leave it to chance.

Imagine how you will feel if you are stuck twiddling your thumbs while others take action to defend your pension!

If you haven’t got round to it please fill in your ballot paper and post it off today.


If you have already voted, please talk to your colleagues and ask them to do likewise.


Sally Hunt
UCU general secretary

PS You can order a replacement ballot here.

Strike for USS

UCU’s higher education committee has agreed to launch an industrial action ballot in the dispute over the future of USS. They have said serious and sustained industrial action is required in the face of damaging proposals from the employers which would effectively destroy the pension scheme.

Your pension is under attack

  • The employers want to end guaranteed pension benefits.
  • They say your final pension should depend on how your ‘investments’ perform and not on your contributions.
  • We say it’s wrong to risk our members’ futures.

The postal strike ballot opens on Wednesday 29 November. Keep an eye out for your voting envelope over the coming days. If it doesn’t arrive a form to request a duplicate will be made available from 4 December.

Last chance to save your pension.
VOTE YES to strike action.
VOTE YES to action short of a strike.

Free Membership for some Further and Higher Education staff

Future of the profession

Free UCU membership

Young workers need the union more than ever

As part of UCU’s drive to support education workers at the start of their careers, from 1 October 2017 we are offering free membership to some further and higher staff.

Free membership* applies to staff in the following categories:

  • enrolled postgraduate students contracted to teach in UK higher education institutions
  • staff working in further education not on lecturing contracts but part of the teaching and assessing team such as instructor, assessor, trainer, teaching assistant, coach.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt explained why UCU is offering free membership to some early career education staff and her vision for a union movement that works for younger workers in this article for Left Foot ForwardOpens new window. You can also read what she had to say in The Morning Star, in the Times Higher and more broadly on the future of UCU and the profession.

How to join as a FREE member?

Choose ‘standard full membership’ to activate the free membership offer option.

Or you can join by phone on:
0333 207 0719

This site uses cookies. Find out more about this site’s cookies.