We urge you to complete the USS Pensions Survey

We urge you to complete the USS Pensions Survey

You (USS members) should have received a survey link via email from USS. We encourage you to complete this survey to get UCU member voices heard. The survey will take around 10 minutes to complete but we feel this time will be worthwhile for the following reasons:

  • You will be asked for your views on sustainable investment. Pension funds can only legally decide to opt for a sustainable investment strategy (divestment from fossil fuels etc) if they have evidence that their members want that to happen. USS have never done an explicit survey on this, so surveys like this one are the best opportunity people have to express that view.
  • You will be asked to comment on your “overall relationship” with USS. This question’s results will be reported in the USS annual report, which will expose the feelings of its members to a wide audience.  

Further action you can take towards ethical investment

Most USS members now have a Defined Contribution (DC) pot (the bit USS calls the “investment builder”) because of the 2020-2022 cut to the Defined Benefit (DB) cap. Individuals can choose to have this pot invested normally or invested ethically by logging to the USS portal. Most people don’t know this and therefore leave it with the default (not ethical) option. USS takes this as evidence that members aren’t so bothered about climate change and therefore as a reason not to change investment strategy for the (massively larger) DB section of their investments. So, if you wish to influence USS ethical investment you can opt in to the “ethical lifestyle” investment option.

LUCU Committee

Decarbonise & Decolonise 2030 Webinar

Decarbonise & Decolonise 2030 Webinar

The LUCU committee recently discussed UCU’s new Decarbonise & Decolonise 2030 campaign and feel this should be supported by the branch. With this in mind and a campaign on the topic to come, we wish to encourage members interested in the topic (and potentially being involved in the local campaign) to attend the Decarbonise and Decolonise Webinar for UCU members in the East Midlands region on Wednesday 8th September starting at 2pm. For more information on the campaign please click this link where you can find a quick guide pdf for download and further resources.

What to expect from the webinar:

Decarbonise and decolonise is the third in a series of our webinars on the climate crisis, and how we can play our part in resisting it. Building on existing CPD workshops ‘Introduction to climate education’ and ‘Embedding climate education in the curriculum’, SOS-UK have developed for UCU a ‘Decarbonise and decolonise‘ workshop to introduce members to the interconnectivity of these two agendas and identify opportunities to take action.

To take part in this webinar you do not need to have completed the previous sessions.  This workshop will give an overview of climate justice, and how this links to the concepts of decolonising and decarbonising as the structural and systemic roots of the human-induced climate crisis. We will explore examples of climate injustice, and how this often intersects with issues like race, gender, class and indigeneity. We will also look at examples of when sustainability actions and initiatives have not taken an intersectional approach, with discussions on how we can avoid this in education to create sustainability activities that recognise and work to challenge the harmful legacies of colonialism and imperialism.

Learning Aims – The full aims of the interactive workshop are to:

  • provide an introductory understanding of climate justice and its connection with decolonising and decarbonising
  • support participants to identify opportunities to apply decolonising and decarbonising for climate justice to the education sector
  • encourage participants to develop their own practice to consider climate justice and intersectionality
  • explore the role of UCU branches and members in mobilising action for decolonising and decarbonising.

How UCU CPD webinars work

The taught session will last for about 75 minutes, after which time we take 15-20 minutes to discuss the issues raised. The total time commitment will be around an hour and a half.

You will need to find a quiet space, away from distractions (like telephone and email!), and you may prefer to use headphones for the session. UCU would also recommend that you check that you can use zoom before the session if you are unfamiliar with it.

Once registered you will be sent a meeting number and password for the webinar using zoom. You will be able to join the session from about 10 minutes before the stated start time. UCU would also recommend that you do join 5 to 10 minutes early as you will need to be admitted to the session, and of course there can be technical problems. Live transcription will be available.

If you have any questions please email Glen at gpickard@ucu.org.uk

If you require any additional support in accessing or taking part in this webinar please let Glen know ASAP so that he can do everything possible to help.

To register for the session on Wednesday 8th September please CLICK this LINK.