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Talks between the University and College Union and Universities UK have produced a compromise arrangement, under which a transitional three year period will allow “both sides to engage in meaningful discussions” on the future of the scheme.
The agreement will now go to a vote of Union members, who are expected to vote to suspend strike action from the 14th of March. However this is not a given, as UCU members have taken to social media to express anger at the terms of the agreement.
The transitional agreement would maintain elements of the current defined benefit scheme with increased employer and employee contributions, which would become 19.3% and 8.7% respectively.
Universities UK and the UCU have agreed to form an independent expert group under the terms of the agreement, which would produce a report by 2019, in time for the conclusion of the transition period.
UCU will undertake to encourage its members to reschedule lessons to minimise the impact on students, while UUK will ask member institutions to minimise the financial impact on Graduate Teaching Assistants.
The Lancaster branch of the UCU have been approached for comment, but have yet to respond. However social media posts on behalf of the union branch describe the arrangement as a “bad deal”
This is such a bad deal and is couched in very bald and unenthusiastic terms in the UCU tweet and in the document that we have to hope the whole idea is that we reject it @ucu #USSstrike pic.twitter.com/fcKgKiYZxp
— Lancaster UCU (@LancasterUCU) March 12, 2018
Posts in opposition to the arrangement are trending on Twitter under the hashtag #nocapitulation. The union vote will come tomorrow evening, and could force both parties back to the drawing board