SHESC Voting Advice from Two USS Negotiators

Vote against motion 1 and amendment 3A1

Vote for motions 2 and amendment 2 A1, 3, 4, 5

Vote for remission of motion 6 (or against if not remitted)

Reasons to oppose B4: exploring conditional indexation

  1. A conditional indexation scheme gives conditional benefits.
  2. Is unlikely to resolve the problem of USS’s negative bias. Estimates of asset growth are likely to be carried out by USS teams.  USS is underestimating future asset growth as CPI.  Assets have grown from 66.5 to nearly 85 billion over the past few years, despite Covid and Brexit.
  3. The employers’ advisor AON appears to believe it will reduce benefits1
  4. AON appears to believe it will need legislation1, which is not yet in place and may never be enacted.
  5. Will take several years to implement, so not a sol1ution for this or probably even next valuation.
  6. Detracts energy and attention from GTVO to defend defined benefits.
  7. Gives the wrong signal to employers on our willingness to defend DB.
  8. Will quite likely need serious changes to governance and scheme rules. Further industrial action will very probably be needed at this point to protect members’ interests. 

Why we need industrial action starting middle of autumn term
(support HE2, 3 and 4, oppose HE1 and HE3A1)

  1. Need to take action before it is too late and changes are implemented on timetable set up USS with Joint Negotiating Committee rule changes by end of February and  benefit/contribution changes by April 1
  2. Starting action in late November is not a good strategy, as we realised in 2019/20.
  3. We need a sufficient period of action to have an impact. 

Reasons to support HE5

  1. Negotiators negotiate on behalf of members and therefore need clear instructions from them.
  2. As a trade union we should be defending our pensions not agreeing to cuts or cost increases before action even starts.
  3. If required, another special sector conference can be organised to review negotiator mandate – very easy to do online.

Can we win the ballot and have successful industrial action

  1. Liverpool, Brighton and other branches have.  Their members are wonderful, but so are members in other branches.  
  2. We need a campaign, but do not need to pass HE1 for this.  HE2, HE3 and HE4 all have points about building the get the vote out campaign and organising members.
  3. HE2, HE3 and HE4 all call for campaigning materials – an important part of GTVO.
  4. HE4 also calls for a wider campaign to build support amongst students, other trade unions and the local community.

Vote for motions 2 with 2A1, 3, 4 and 5 and against 3 and B4 for a successful industrial action starting in the autumn term.  This is the only strategy that can defend our pensions and win.  

Marion Hersh & Deepa Driver, UCU Left members of SWG and USS negotiators.

For a discussion of the need to unite our fights over USS and Four Fights, see here.

1https://www.bristol.ac.uk/media-library/sites/staff/documents/USS%2031%20March%202020%20valuation%20-%20Aon%20report.pdf

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *