Prospect seeks members views on USS dispute

Prospect members consulted on involvement in USS pensions dispute

On Thursday March 15th Prospect National Secretary for Scotland Richard Hardy visited members at the Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS) at Oban to talk to members about the dispute and understand their feelings about the dispute,  and also to show support for the UCU pickets there.

Stack of pension coins declining in size

Members will no doubt be aware of the ongoing dispute between the University and College Union (UCU) and Universities UK (UUK) in respect of changes to the University Superannuation Scheme (USS).

Prospect has a number of members who are members of the USS pension scheme as a result of transfers into a “broadly comparable” pension scheme following transfers protected by TUPE and Cabinet Office guidance, these members are therefore impacted by the proposed changes.

However whilst Prospect has members within the scheme we are not a party to the negotiations being undertaken over the proposals as this is the sole purview of the UCU, as a result our position up until now has been to publically support the strike but not to seek to ballot members. Whilst nobody likes to sit on the fence, we are also aware that any information we get pertaining to the negotiations is second hand, and  until now we would have been asking members to take action when we do not have control over the processes and outcomes.

Members at SAMS are clearly concerned that potential improvements to the UUKs proposals are being won for them by the efforts of others, and that whilst they understand the issues around Prospect’s lack of direct involvement in the negotiations, they also wish to take some form of action to indicate their dissatisfaction and unhappiness with the actions of UUK.

As a result Prospect will be conducting an indicative ballot of affected members at SAMS on whether they support taking a day of action in conjunction with the next round of UCU strikes in May, we are also in discussions with members at the Rowett Institute (Aberdeen University) and Roslin Institutre (Edinburgh University) as to whether they wish to have an indicative ballot.

We will keep members updated with information about the ballots