UCL-UCU: Recommendation to vote “REJECT” in the USS online consultation

5 April 2023

This message is to let you know that following a decision at our branch meeting today, UCL UCU is recommending that you vote to “REJECT” the proposal to pause action in the USS online consultation currently being run by UCU HQ.

We had previously voted to call on members to vote to REJECT the UCEA offer on pay, casualisation, workload and pay gaps.

The motion that was passed is copied below at Appendix 1.

UCL UCU Executive



Appendix 1 - Motion passed by UCL UCU Branch meeting, 5 April 2023

UCL UCU notes:

  1. The joint statement on UUK and UCU collaboration toward USS benefit restoration in which UUK:

  • expressed an intention to restore benefits by April 2024, but has not committed to so doing, while member institutions have to agree to this policy before it is enacted;
  • agreed to seek an improved risk-management mechanism in the light of the open and long-term nature of the scheme, but has made no commitment to the preservation of benefits or to restraint on contribution increases should the scheme experience future adverse valuations;
  • has made no commitment to repay USS benefits lost between April 2022 and 24.
  1. The 29 March 2023 UCU news item ‘USS Trustee confirms full pension benefit restoration on course for April 2024’.

  2. The resignation of USS Chief Executive Bill Galvin and his replacement with Carol Young (who led the closure of the Heineken DB pension scheme in 2011 and designed and launched their replacement DC plan).

  3. That the limited progress made on USS is not conditional on agreeing to pause industrial action or settle the grounds of our dispute with UUK.

  4. That UCL UCU mandated delegates to the 29 March 23 BDM to ‘Vote ‘no’ [to] putting the current commitments in UUK statements on USS to the members for formal consultation’.

UCL UCU believes:

  1. The coupling of the four fights and USS campaigns is strategically important.

  2. That the joint statement on UUK and UCU collaboration toward USS benefit restoration is not an ‘offer’ in the commonly understood sense of the term.

  3. An e-consultation vote to ‘note’ the joint statement on UUK and UCU collaboration could be used to stand-down or otherwise undermine the USS dispute.

  4. An e-consultation ‘no’ vote on the joint statement on UUK and UCU collaboration would put pressure on individual employers, and increase political pressure on USS to resolve the dispute.

  5. That notification of the forthcoming marking and assessment boycott should be in support of both four fights and USS disputes.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To preemptively email a statement, including this motion as an Appendix, to all UCL UCU members encouraging a ‘no’ vote in any e-consultation on the USS statement.

  2. To use social media to encourage UCL UCU members to vote ‘no’ in any e-consultation on the USS statement.

  3. To mandate delegates to the 19 April 23 Special Higher Education Sector Conference to support motions HE2, HE4, HE5*, HE10 and HE11, and oppose motions HE3 and HE9.

* Explanatory note: HE5 is a composite motion which includes a motion submitted by UCL UCU. See relevant motions mentioned above in the  first report of the SHESC Congress Business Committee.


This motion was passed with 38% of the meeting in favour, 29% against, and 33% in abstention.