ETUCE Solidarity with UCU Members


To: members of HERSC
For information to: ETUCE Committee members

Solidarity with UCU members

Dear colleagues of HERSC,

With this message, we would like to inform you about the ongoing UCU campaign to defend university pensions and for the improvement of the pay and conditions of higher education staff throughout the UK.

Thousands of university staff began a new wave of industrial action, which was largely supported by students, to prevent a devastating 35% cut to their guaranteed retirement income.

Although university employers have so far failed to accept compromise proposals put forward by UCU, the union strongly maintain their position and demand that current benefits be retained until April 2023 at the following increased rates:

  • That Universities UK (UUK) calls on the pension trustee USS to issue a moderately prudent, evidence-based valuation of the financial health of the scheme as at 31 March 2022, to be issued for consultation in June 2022(at the latest); 
  • That employers agree to provide the same level of covenant support as for their own proposals to facilitate a cost-sharing of current benefits throughout the 2022/23 scheme year, starting 1 April 2022 at 11% member/23.7% employer until 1 October 2022, and 11.8%/25.2% thereafter
  • That employers agree to pay a maximum 25.2% and members a maximum of 9.8% from 1 April 2023 so as to secure current benefits or, if not possible, the best achievable as a result of the call on USS to issue a moderately prudent, evidence-based valuation.

This week’s five-day strikes are focused on massive cuts to university pensions (Universities Superannuation Scheme - USS). On Monday and Tuesday (21 and 22 February), the next two days of strike action will cover both the pensions dispute and a separate one over pay and working conditions. Further strike action is planned for the end February / beginning of March.

Together with UCU, ETUCE is calling on the members of HERSC to show solidarity with colleagues in the UK and to tweet or post on your Facebook pages the following message:

Solidarity with UCU members in their fight to stop a 35% cut to their guaranteed pension and to improve pay and working conditions at UK universities.


In addition, we kindly ask you to tag both UCU and ETUCE.

Note that you can use the following images from UCU in your social media posts: UCU Picket lines’ images - UCU poster and images

Let’s support our colleagues in the UK all together!

Kind regards,

Susan Flocken
ETUCE European Director