SUCU Branch News 15 Jan 2015

USS pension – action suspended,  e-ballot opens tomorrow 16 Jan

We were informed yesterday of HEC’s decision to ballot members on new proposals for your USS pension.  We have received information from UCU about the new proposal and arrangements for the ballot – which runs 16th January to 26th January at noon.

SUCU Committee recommend the following to members:
SUCU Committee believes that the current ‘potential agreement’ offer represents a major cut in pensions. The offer accepts the parameters of the huge projected deficit, and cuts pensions to fill this gap. As well as ending Final Salary, it concedes the principle of a Defined Contribution element for contributions over £55,000 that allows the Employer to cut their contributions to 12%, provides members with no certainty about the value of their pension and paves the way for future concessions.
SUCU Committee therefore calls on all members to vote to reject the offer, and to demand HEC officers call hard-hitting industrial action to win the dispute.
What about our motion sent requesting a Special Sector Conference?  We believe that more than 20 branches submitted motions like our own calling for a Special Conference but the conference is not being called and HQ is not indicating which branch motions have been rejected and why.  We are requesting that information.
USS will be discussed at the next Branch Meeting and members are encouraged to attend.

Local pay and performance management

We have reported previously that SUCU, together with the other campus unions, are in ongoing discussions with management about SRDS and ‘reward and recognition’. Management are putting brief updates on the HR website.

At this stage we have broad agreement on the main points apart from incremental pay progression.  Discussions affecting pay continue to be on the basis of the ‘Framework Agreement’ underpinning our current pay structure.  In particular regarding incremental pay progression this says, ‘Staff will have a normal expectation that progression from point to point up to the exceptional threshold will take place on an annual basis, subject exceptionally to existing procedures for dealing with performance problems, when increments may be withheld. Accelerated incremental progression, including progression into the exceptional range, will reflect sustained exceptional contribution by the job holder.’  Come to the Branch Meeting on 28 Jan 1pm to hear more and join the discussion.

Next Branch Meeting Wed 28 Jan 1pm, Council Chamber, Octagon Centre

All members are invited to attend.  Under discussion will be the pensions dispute, local pay and performance management, and we have a speaker from Sheffield College where members have just voted to take industrial action. Beverages will be served at 12.45.  Agenda attached.

UCU members at Sheffield College vote for strike action in row over jobs

UCU members at Sheffield College have overwhelmingly backed strike action in a row over job losses. 86% of members who voted backed strike action and 95% supported action short of strike. The branch is due to meet next week to discuss next steps and when any action will start. The college wants to axe 75 jobs now and has warned it is likely to come back looking to make further savings in the near future. Please send messages of support to  Brandon will be speaking at the next Branch Meeting on 28th Jan.