Monthly Archives: January 2018

USS Letter to Bristol West MP Thangam Debbonaire

Dear Thangham,

It was really good to meet you prior to the General Election. Once again, congratulations on your reelection. At that meeting, the academic and academic-related staff pension scheme – USS – was a topic of conversation. As you have probably seen, this is now very much a live issue, with UCU currently balloting over our employers’ proposals to cut our pensions.

It is an issue that affects a majority of University of Bristol staff, many of whom are also Bristol West constituents.

We are writing to ask for your support in lobbying University of Bristol, and the HEC sector in general over these proposed changes, in short, a shift from a Defined Benefit (DB) to Defined Contribution USS.

We note the current Early Day Motion ‘Defending Academic Pensions’ that states ‘… all staff working in universities should have access to a secure and decent pension; notes with concern the proposal by Universities UK to close the defined benefit portion of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) to all future service…and calls on the Government to review the current situation and urge Universities UK to work with University and College Union to find a better solution which ensures that USS remains competitive compared with pensions offered to other education staff and those in other professional occupations’.

We also note shadow education secretary Angela Rayner’s welcome recent intervention.

Would you be willing to back Bristol UCU in its call to retain DB for University of Bristol staff as well as joining us in questioning the assumptions that erroneously frame this debate?

The Bristol UCU branch officer team is happy to discuss this further.

Yours,

Bristol UCU Branch Officer Team

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