Russell Group response to UCU announcement on December industrial action

17 November 2021

Following the University and College Union (UCU) announcement today (Tuesday 16 November 2021) of industrial action to take place from Wednesday 1 December to Friday 3 December 2021, a Russell Group spokesperson said:

“Employers want staff to have a competitive pension that provides a comfortable retirement. We recognise this is a difficult time for staff and making changes like this is never easy but is only done when absolutely necessary. We regret that UCU is proceeding with industrial action – it will not change the need for reform and will only disrupt students who have already faced a challenging 18 months and are keen to return to as normal an experience as possible.

“Under the proposals being consulted on, the USS will continue to offer a defined benefit topped up by a defined contribution scheme, so members build up guaranteed pensions at a level far higher than the national average. It also protects all benefits accrued to date and maintains contribution rates at today's levels, thus avoiding reductions in take-home pay.

“Universities will take steps to minimise the impact on students and other staff. However, UCU agrees reform is needed, so rather than take action that will have a negative impact on students, we urge them to work with employers and engage with the consultation to find a solution that will provide value for money for the long-term without placing an unfair burden on future generations.”