News & press releases

Statement: UCU Strike Action

February 26, 2018

I am very aware that academic staff at our universities make a huge contribution, helping to ensure we have a well-educated population, and a skilled and educated workforce, never more important than at the moment. I am firmly of the view that academic staff should be suitably awarded for their endeavours, and receive the pay and other benefits that recognise the contribution they make.

Secure and decent pensions are an essential part of the rewards that all employees should be entitled to, and I regret that Universities UK are changing pension arrangements for academic staff in a way that will reduce the security of retirement income and make academic careers less attractive in future.

I am pleased to support the campaign to arrive at a fairer resolution to the issue of academic pensions. I have signed Early Day Motion 619 which calls on the Government to review the current situation and urges Universities UK to work with University and College Union to find a better solution which ensures that Universities Superannuation Scheme remains competitive compared with pensions offered to other education staff and those in other professional occupations.

It is disappointing that the failure to negotiate a satisfactory resolution to the concerns of academic staff is necessitating industrial action. I fully support the action being taken, and hope that it helps arrive at a successful resolution.