Negotiations with Universities UK (UUK) over the restoration of our USS pension benefits

Negotiations with Universities UK (UUK) over the restoration of our USS pension benefits

On Wednesday 20 September 2023, the Superannuation Working Group (SWG) gave a presentation on negotiations with Universities UK (UUK) over the restoration of our USS pension benefits.

A video presentation by the UCU official responsible for USS, Dooley Harte, was recorded and is available here

The slides from the presentation are available here.

There was also a question and answer session but this was not recorded for confidentiality reasons. Members present used the chat function in Zoom to ask a number of questions. UCU have answered these questions in a document which is available here.

The SWG continues to engage UUK and USS on restoration of pre-2022 benefits, augmentation/recovery and combined contribution rates and further information on these will be issued when we receive those updates.

If you have not yet completed the USS members consultation, please read this article on our website and then complete the consultation before it closes on 24th November.

USS Consultation – how we can act to restore our pensions

USS Consultation – how we can act to restore our pensions

The following article is long, but very important if we are to secure the restoration of our pensions.  We are extremely close to finalising this win, but we are not there yet.  Please read the information below and respond accordingly to the USS member consultation, to ensure the changes we want go ahead. In the red text boxes below, you will find UCU’s suggested considerations when you fill out your own consultation form. Further details on how to complete the USS Members Consultation can also be found towards the bottom of this article.

Additionally, we share details of the response Loughborough University is making to the employer’s consultation

Members’ Consultation

USS has launched a consultation with members about the future of the scheme, and in particular what level of benefits members would like to receive.  It is important that as many members as possible feed their views into this consultation to strengthen our negotiators’ position.

Please note that it is essential for members to respond individually to this consultation, because in previous consultations, where members cut and pasted a set of responses, we know that these were disregarded by USS and UUK. 

Below, we have provided explanations regarding the changes to help you understand the questions and, in white text on red backgrounds, suggestions to help you formulate your own responses. The consultation includes questions on the issues that are highlighted below in bold, and there is an opportunity to make additional comments. There is not a question that asks specifically whether you support a contribution rate of 20.6% versus UCU’s preferred 26% rate.

Please consider recommending a rate above 20.6% in the comments box to help our negotiators gain agreement from Employers to adequately support their employees’ pensions – instead of using the review of USS as a mechanism for reducing their costs.  Employers reducing contribution rates too far dramatically increases the risk of future valuations leading again to benefit cuts, necessitating further industrial action, and repeating the exhausting cycle we have seen in recent years.

Salary threshold increase

You build up benefits in the defined benefit part of the scheme, the USS Retirement Income Builder, on your salary – up to the salary threshold. If you earn above the salary threshold, you’ll contribute to the defined contribution part of the scheme, the USS Investment Builder too.

From 1 April 2022, the salary threshold was reduced from £59,883.65 to £40,000, and the inflation cap on the annual increases applying to that threshold was changed from 10% to 2.5% (as described below). If the April 2022 changes had not taken place, it is likely that the salary threshold would currently be around £66,400.

At the moment, the salary threshold is £41,004, and it increases every year in line with Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation to a maximum level capped at 2.5%.

It’s proposed that, from 1 April 2024, the salary threshold increases to between £66,400 and £73,040 (the final level to be determined by the rate of CPI inflation to September 2023) and that annual increases continue in line with CPI inflation but to a higher cap of 10%, applied as follows:

  • Where CPI inflation is 5% or less, the increase is matched.
  • Where CPI inflation is more than 5% but less than 15%, the increase will be 5% plus half of the percentage increase above 5%.
  • Where CPI inflation is 15% or more, the increase applied shall be 10%.

This change would broadly put the salary threshold at the level it would have been were it not for the 1 April 2022 change, and would mean that a greater proportion of benefits is built up in the defined benefit part of the scheme, the USS Investment Retirement Income Builder, for members whose salary is higher than the current salary threshold. This also means that these members would build up less savings in the defined contribution part of the scheme, the USS Investment Builder. If a member’s salary is below the current salary threshold, the increase to the salary threshold will not impact that member’s benefits.

Please consider expressing support for an increase to the salary threshold at the level it would have been were it not for the 1 April 2022 pension cuts, and expressing support for a return to a 10% inflation cap in order to protect the value of our pensions.

Accrual rate increase

In the defined benefit part of the scheme, the USS Retirement Income Builder, you build up benefits at a rate of 1/85 of salary each year (up to the salary threshold) and 3/85 of salary as a lump sum received on retirement.

It’s proposed that, for benefits built up from 1 April 2024, the accrual rate will increase to 1/75 of salary and 3/75 of salary for the lump sum.

This change would re-introduce the accrual rate that was in place before 1 April 2022, and would mean that a higher rate of benefits would be built up in the defined benefit part of the scheme, the USS Investment Builder, than now.

Please consider expressing support for increasing the accrual rate to 1/75th of salary and 3/75th of salary for the lump sum.

Higher cap on future pension increases

In the defined benefit part of the scheme, the USS Retirement Income Builder, the benefits you build up each year are “banked” and increased before and after retirement in line with Consumer Price index (CPI) inflation subject to a cap of 2.5% (deferred to 1 April 2026 but applying to benefits built up from 1 April 2022).

It’s proposed that the cap increases to a maximum of 10%, to be applied as follows to benefits built up from 1 April 2022:

  • Where CPI inflation is 5% or less, the increase is matched.
  • Where CPI inflation is more than 5% but less than 15%, the increase will be 5% plus half of the percentage increase above 5%.
  • Where CPI inflation is 15% or more, the increase applied shall be 10%.

This change would re-introduce the cap on increases that was in place before 1 April 2022, and would mean that the more benefits built up in the defined benefit part of the scheme, the USS Retirement Income Builder, the higher the rate of inflation protection applied to them would be, if inflation is higher than 2.5%.

Please consider expressingsupport for a return to the cap on increases that was in place before 1 April 2022, to a maximum of 10%, in order to maximise the protection to our pension values.

Contributions above the salary threshold to the defined contribution (DC) part of the scheme, the USS Investment Builder

Currently, 20% of your salary above the salary threshold (8% from your contribution above the salary threshold and 12% from your employer) is paid in to the defined contribution part of the scheme, your USS Investment Builder.

Whilst it is proposed that the overall 20% of salary above the salary threshold to the USS Investment Builder remains unchanged, the JNC will confirm, later in the year, whether the proposed share of member and employer contributions within that 20% will change. The JNC will determine this share of contributions into the DC part of the scheme, the USS Investment Builder based upon the overall rate determined by the Trustee for the benefits proposed.

Please consider expressing support for employers’ continuing to payat least the current 12% rate of contributions, rather than reducing their contribution rate in favour of members paying a greater percentage into the DC part of USS.

Completing the USS Member Consultation

You may complete the USS members consultation form here: Log in – Member – USS Consultation 2023. To access the form, you will need you USS member number and your national insurance number. This consultation closes on 24th November. 

Employers’ Consultation

We are pleased to report that branch officers had two meetings with senior managers to discuss their response to the USS Employer Consultation prior to producing the statement below.  They have agreed to share it with UCU members in the interest of transparency.

Please find below the statement that Loughborough University has sent to USS as part of the Employers’ Consultation, where they provide their views on a resolution to the pension dispute. 

We are broadly supportive of the assumptions in the valuation but would welcome further consideration of specific elements. Whilst the valuation, and likely outcomes, are positive, on-going work streams and the subsequent Investment strategy review may potentially be limited by the decisions made at this stage, and we would therefore like to see prudence in utilisation of the surplus in order to maintain headroom for future decisions. 

We support the return to pre-April 22 benefits, with contributions of 14.5% and 6.1% for employers and employees, respectively. We would support the surplus being used to provide additional stability for future valuations and contribution rates – for clarity, we mean we do not support further contribution rate reductions at this stage given there is still medium-term uncertainty. However, whilst we do not support a rate above 20.6% at this stage, we would not assume that any changes introduced by the on-going stability workstream would be funded by immediate recourse to benefit reductions i.e. we would consider some increase in rate, ahead of benefit reduction, should clear stability measures be needed and agreed. 

We would support augmentation of benefits if these can be applied equitably and simply, and understand actuarial work has been carried out to cost options in this space. We would welcome swift resolution of the 2022 triennial valuation process to reduce contributions as early as possible for colleagues and institutions, with January 2024 being theoretically achievable, this taking priority over augmentation if necessary. 

The enhanced covenant support measures can have a significant impact on employers, and we would welcome consideration on how this could be mitigated in light of this positive valuation. For example, what would the impact be of giving more headroom in the debt-monitoring/pari-passu metrics? 

We are unclear why the confidence level has reduced from the level in the 2020 valuation, which was described as being the limit of regulatory compliance. Nevertheless, we see this as a positive and reasonable change that the level has reduced to 70%/69%. We note this is still higher than that used in the 2017 valuation. 

Whilst we welcome the impact of the self-sufficiency measure being reviewed as part of the stability workstream, we question whether the definition of self-sufficiency — particularly the requirement to permanently maintain a high funding ratio — is fully explained and justified and would suggest that UUK requests modelling which explores the impact of this condition (especially the extent to which it drives the relationship between gilt rates and the surplus/deficit).

LUCU welcomes this response from Loughborough. It aligns with the important principles that our UCU pension negotiators are arguing for on our behalf: the need for the pension scheme to move away from excessive prudence in its valuation methodology, a return to pre-2022 benefits, the restoration of benefits lost since 2022, and as early as practicable.

However, there is one important area where, following guidance from our USS pension negotiators, we depart from management’s response, and this concerns the level of contribution rates. While Loughborough management remains open to higher contribution rates should they be needed to secure fair pensions, they remain unconvinced that the future risk of a deficit means that higher contributions from employers are needed at this time. Consequently, they favour a total contribution rate of 20.6%. UCU negotiators are clear that a 20.6% contribution rate risks the scheme falling into deficit within c. 3 years, and USS agrees with this. For this reason, UCU negotiators want employers to commit to a higher contribution rate of 26%.

Although Loughborough management would not choose to prioritise benefit reduction over making higher contributions should a deficit arise, it is important for members to consider that there are hard-line VCs who may adopt this position if presented with a pension deficit.  An overall contribution rate of 26% will ensure that the pension benefits we enjoyed before the cuts in 2022 can be restored and can be sustained in the longer term. Tremendous progress has been made on the pensions’ front thanks to members’ action, but we still don’t have a complete ‘win’ yet. We need to give our negotiators the backing to ask for higher contribution rates in order to ensure the sustainability of our pensions.  

Even in the face of the cost-of-living crisis, we urge members to support the higher rate of contribution when they respond to the USS consultation: this will help avoid the need to re-fight the same battles to protect the value of our pensions in just a few years’ time.  Though we too would be paying more into our pensions if the contribution rate is set at 26%, we would still be paying less into our pensions than we do currently and for much better benefits. 

Please feel free to share this communication with your colleagues who are not members of UCU, because it is vital that all members of USS are informed about the consultation and the importance of engaging with it.

Thank you,

LUCU Committee

A Fond Farewell and a Warm Welcome

A Fond Farewell and a Warm Welcome

Since the make-up of our 2023/24 committee was confirmed at our AGM, we have found ourselves bidding a fond farewell to a remarkable advocate while simultaneously welcoming two new faces to the team.

Firstly, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Ellen Nicholls, our tireless Equality Officer. Ellen’s unwavering dedication, passion and hard work have been instrumental in advancing the cause of equality within our university. As Ellen embarks on new adventures at Nottingham Trent, we wish her all success and happiness.

But while sad to lose Ellen, we are delighted to welcome Kerry Featherstone, our new Equality Officer, and Anthony Kevins, our newest committee member. Kerry brings fresh perspectives and a wealth of experience to his role, and we are pleased to see him leading this important work for us. Kerry will be sitting on the EDI Ops Committee (on behalf of all campus unions) for this academic year. Likewise, we are delighted to have Anthony with us.

Kerry and Anthony have written brief introductions below:

Kerry Featherstone, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, LUCU Equality Officer

I am a lecturer in Creative Writing. I’ve been teaching at Loughborough since the early 2000s, and full time since 2009.  My teaching involves giving students creative skills as well as industry knowledge: I am the Programme Lead for the MA in Creative Writing and Writing Industries.  My research ranges from representations of Afghanistan to creative responses to English landscapes.  I have also translated texts from English to French.  I’m on the EDI committee for SSH and served for fifteen years on the board of Apples and Snakes, a poetry organisation that aims to amplify unheard voices. I have ADHD, so am writing this at the last minute.

Anthony Kevins, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, LUCU Committee Member

I’ve been at Loughborough University since September 2019, when I took up a lectureship in Politics and International Studies, and I’ve also worked in Canada, Denmark, and the Netherlands. I’m a political scientist by training, and most of my research relies on statistical analysis of survey data, often with a focus on social policy, inequality, and democratic influence. As a co-opted ordinary committee member, I’m looking forward to helping the branch committee get things done and work toward improving the working conditions of all Loughborough employees, members and non-members alike.

Solidarity with Ukraine

Solidarity with Ukraine

Following a motion passed at our AGM, the committee has considered the best way we, as a branch, can support and show solidarity with Ukraine. This has now resulted in a £200 donation of branch funds to the Help Ukraine Emergency Appeal.

The branch committee has also raised a motion for the next UCU East Midlands Regional Committee, calling on them to condemn the unprovoked, unjustified military attack by Russia against Ukraine; to support the provision of any form of aid that Ukraine needs, including military aid, humanitarian aid; to consider tougher political and economic sanctions against Russia; and to discuss cooperation and affiliation with the Ukrainian Solidarity Campaign. The motion also asks the East Midlands Regional Committee to call on UCU to engage with the Ukrainian community in the UK, including Ukrainian academics hosted by British universities, to ensure stronger representation of Ukrainian voices; to state opposition to the UCU Congress motion 5, and for UCU to recall it; to follow the Ukraine Peace Appeal’s call for more informed solidarity, and to call for its support by UCU; to call on UCU to express solidarity with colleagues and students in higher education in Ukraine or displaced by the war, and within the wider Ukrainian diaspora; to call on UCU to support initiatives helping displaced Ukrainian colleagues and students, aiming at the reconstruction of Ukrainian higher education institutions; and, finally, to call on UCU to review and change the governance procedures that resulted in the wording of motion 5 and the contradictory passing of both motion 5 and motion 6 at UCU Congress.

Solidarity with Brighton UCU

Solidarity with Brighton UCU

Kevin Biderman, a UCU rep at Brighton University, joined us on Friday 15 September to talk about the threat of redundancy at his institution and about the actions his members are taking in support both of their jobs and of high-quality student provision at Brighton. A summary of Kevin’s talk is below:

In May, Brighton University proposed 130 redundancies, saying it wanted to save £7.3m – but while also spending £50m on building projects. The University is planning to grow student numbers, potentially causing massive workload issues for the remaining staff.  Hundreds of students have been marching, calling for the VC’s resignation, and they have staged a sit in in the VC’s office. Students at Brighton are joining UCU in asking for zero redundancies, sharing the belief that the planned job cuts are a choice, not a necessity. The VC lost a vote of no confidence, with 94% of staff and students voting against them. The UCU branch held a ballot over 2 weeks, resulting in a 61% turnout and a 90% vote for local strike action in October. UCU has grey-listed Brighton – encouraging members not to apply for jobs there or engage in any collaborative projects. Brighton has deducted 100% of pay for involvement in the MAB and has said it will do the same during the upcoming strike. Brighton UCU has a strike fund which so far has received close to £100k in donations, but it needs more.

What can you do to help colleagues at Brighton UCU?

  1. You can sign the petition in support of zero redundancies at Brighton University, here.
  2. You are encouraged to make supportive posts on social media. 
  3. Brighton UCU would really appreciate further donations to their strike fund, here.

University Town Hall

University Town Hall

LUCU requested more opportunities for members to hear first-hand about major strategic developments at the University and to ask questions of SMT, and we welcome the introduction of Town Halls, led by Professor Chris Linton, the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor. These interactive sessions are designed to enable academic colleagues to learn about how the new University strategy relates to their roles and to feed back.

The first Town Hall took place on 4 September, and it provided a good opportunity for colleagues to provide input into how the University might improve the experience of academic colleagues.  Key issues discussed were:

  • The introduction of an annual staff survey to create a dataset about work experience;
  • A working group to reform management structures in academic schools with the aim of moving away from flat structures;
  • A move toward a single academic job family that will provide greater opportunities for reward and recognition, as well as promotion, for UTs and those on research contracts;
  • An action plan to develop a dedicated programme for inducting international staff, including practical help in settling locally;
  • An action plan to develop a diversity pipeline to encourage more applications from people with protected characteristics and a programme to foster their career development at Loughborough, linked to eliminating pay gaps as much as possible;
  • The work SMT does within UUK and UCEA to further sustainability within the sector by lobbying for a reform to the fees structure.

We strongly encourage members to attend any future Town Halls and ensure that the union voice is fully considered in decisions about the University’s strategic aims.

Town Halls focused on the experience of colleagues in professional services, led by the Chief Operating Officer, Richard Taylor, are also planned. 

Project Expectations Steering Group

Project Expectations Steering Group

The group met on 14 September. A brief update was provided on the 5 work streams that comprise the University Strategy, with discussion covering topics such as the launch of a staff survey to gather feedback on how colleagues view the current reward and recognition system; the inclusion of questions about wellbeing on the 2023-24 PDR in response to staff comments on the staff experience survey; and potential reforms to the role of the Senior Review Groups in PDR, given that ratings have now been removed and PDR is no longer linked to reward.  

Discussion focused on amendments to the PDR form for RTE staff, designed to significantly reduce the time taken to complete the paperwork. We invite members to feed back to LUCU about the merits and demerits of the new form, as it will be further refined for PDR 2024-25.

Employee Assistance Programme Survey – Have your Say

Employee Assistance Programme Survey – Have your Say

Have you ever used the University’s counselling services and/or its Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)?

Do you think you might want to use these sorts of services in the future?

The University has recently suspended its provision of in-house counselling to staff who need support in overcoming personal and professional problems that are affecting their well-being.

Instead, they are now exclusively offering the confidential advice service that is run externally via the EAP. This service is delivered by Health Assured, and includes access to their “Wellbeing Portal” and “Health e-Hub Mobile App”.

Tell Us Your Thoughts

We are seeking members’ feedback via a short survey to ensure that you receive high-quality and ethical support in this important area of occupational health.

If you’ve used the University’s counselling services and/or its EAP: let us know your experiences.

If you haven’t: please look at the EAP’s offerings and let us know if you have any thoughts.

Responses will be held securely and confidentially by LUCU committee and will be fed back to senior management in an anonymised way.

Members, please share your thoughts with us by clicking the link in summary of this article in the latest email newsletter.

LUCU News – July

LUCU News – July

In this month’s LUCU newsletter you will find:

Dispute Joint Statement

A LUCU/LU joint statement is in progress and having responded to a first draft we now await amendments and continue to push for this to be finalised soon.  In the meantime, the university has agreed to internally publish an update on the work that has been ongoing on the issues of concern.  We are pleased to share that senior management has agreed to consult locally with LUCU on their response to the USS consultation which is currently in progress.

MAB Deduction Grievances

UCU is supporting branches and members in challenging the pay deductions made for MAB. Their advice is that this process is likely to be a breach of contract claim which would be made via the County/Sheriff Court.  However,the first step would be to go through the internal grievance process.

Should you wish to raise a claim, guidance on the steps to follow and who to contact can be found here

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP): We want to hear from you!

The University has recently chosen to suspend its provision of in-house counselling to staff who need support in overcoming personal and professional problems that are affecting their well-being. Instead, they are offering a confidential advice service that is run externally via the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).  We are seeking UCU members’ feedback on this service to ensure that members are receiving high-quality and ethical support in this important area of occupational health. Responses will be held securely and confidentially by LUCU committee and will be fed back to senior management in an anonymised way. Please share your experiences with us by clicking the link in the email version of this newsletter.

Fighting Fund Claims: National and Local

After discussions with UCU National, we have had confirmation that you are eligible to claim from the National Fighting Fund for 50% MAB deductions for the weekdays where these deductions are applied. We strongly encourage you to make use of both the national and local fighting funds. For many of us this is a challenging time financially, and we want to make sure you know you can claim for strike or MAB days where you have lost wages/had deductions taken. For more information and to make a claim from the national fund, please see here.

The local fund is available to hourly paid staff and staff who are facing immediate financial hardship as a direct result of industrial action e.g. difficulty paying for essentials for themselves or their dependents. The local fund will pay out for the first day of industrial action, and any later days which are not covered by the national fund. To make a claim from our local fund, please contact our treasurer David Wilson.

Our local fund is quite healthy currently so if anyone wishes to donate you can find out how to donate to the national fighting fund, here.

Member News – Council and Senate Elections

Congratulations are due to Professor Matthew Inglis, who has been elected to membership of Council for a period of 3 years from 1 August 2023. Congratulations also to Dr. Giulia Piccolino and Dr. Sarah Parker, who have been elected to Senate, both representing the School of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Vacant Council Seat

We would like to call your attention to another vacancy on University Council for a member of Academic Staff from August 1, 2023, for a 3- year term of office. Because Council is the governing body of the University and is responsible for its strategic direction and overall governance, having positions filled by colleagues who are sympathetic to the union’s aims is important. If you are eligible, please consider standing, and let us know if you put yourself forward so that LUCU can support your bid to represent Academic Staff. 

Report on General Assembly (16 June)

The General Assembly, called by members in response to the University’s policy of pay deductions for participation in the Marking and Assessment Boycott, offered an opportunity to question the Vice-Chancellor.

Questions from the floor covered a wide range, beginning with the University’s decision to timetable the General Assembly for a Friday afternoon and without the possibility of online participation. Though we appreciate the VC’s point that his busy diary left few other scheduling options, we remain concerned at the lack of remote access and believe this represents poor practice with regard to important university-wide meetings.

From this starting-point regarding the GA itself, questions turned to the University’s response to MAB. The Vice-Chancellor was asked among other things about the fairness of applying equivalent deductions when colleagues’ marking loads and other assessment duties differ significantly (he reiterated the point made to us previously that deductions actually applied are at the discretion of Deans); about the loss of good will caused by this policy (he did not deny that there has been damage); and about the incompatibility we perceive between this policy on the one hand and the new University Strategy’s emphasis on valuing staff on the other.

The VC was also asked how the University settled on a figure of 50% pay deductions for participation in MAB. His response was that the number is somewhere in the middle, as regards the sector, with several institutions applying no deductions at all and others at the opposite end of the spectrum deducting 100%. Our position remains that the Loughborough policy is punitive, demoralising, and shows the University more squarely entrenched in the UCEA mainstream than at other times when it has engaged in coalition-building towards progressive positions in industrial disputes.

LUCU is grateful to members who attended the General Assembly and asked questions. It was valuable to be able to raise concerns about University policy directly with the VC.     

Casualisation Update

In our June newsletter we reported on our work with senior management to revise the Casual Employment Charter, which was initially created following our 2018 industrial action.  This work is now complete, and the revised LU Casual Work Principles have been shared on University News (5th July) and are on the HR website.   Deans were consulted prior to completion of the Principles and should now have disseminated these to staff involved in organising casual work contracts.

To ensure casual staff are informed of their rights, work is currently underway to produce a shortened version of the Principles for inclusion with future casual work contracts. Going forward, HR Partners will monitor compliance in schools.  Further, a member of HR has been assigned to review all existing contracts.  Where issues are identified, they will meet with Deans and managers, and where needed will provide training to ensure the casual staff are contracted to the correct grade and have been given the correct information regarding their role and rights. It has been agreed that where grades are found to be incorrect, this will be corrected and the potential for back-pay will be considered on a case by case basis.

We request that any members on casual contracts who have concerns get in touch by emailing

Report on our Branch AGM

The branch held a well-attended AGM. We’d like to extend our thanks to all members who took the time to come along and take part in branch democracy. Next year’s committee members (Term of office begins on 1st August for 1 year) were announced as:

Chair: Mary Brewer; Secretary: Marie Hanlon; Treasurer: David Wilson; Equalities Officer: Ellen Nicholls; Health, Safety and Environment Officer: Alec Edworthy; Personal Casework Co-ordinator: Andrew Dix; and Ordinary Committee Member: Marc Gibson.

Several vacancies remain for officers and ordinary committee members, so please get in touch for information if you have any interest in joining the branch committee.

The branch passed a motion in support of Ukraine and are raising a similar motion at the UCU East Midlands Regional Committee. As requested by the motion, the branch committee will discuss signing up to the Ukraine Solidarity Movement at the next committee meeting.

LUCU Committee

MAB Grievances and Legal Claims  

MAB Grievances and Legal Claims  

We have received the following information from head office and want to share it with you if you believe you have suffered unfair pay deductions for participating in the MAB and other ASOS, but are unsure what to do next.

UCU is supporting branches and members in challenging the pay deductions that are being made for MAB. Their advice is that this process is likely to be a breach of contract claim which would be made via the County/Sheriff Court; however the first step would be to go through the internal grievance process.

If you wish to raise a claim, please follow these steps:

  1. Ensure you keep evidence of all of the work you are doing during this period, to demonstrate that you are working at least 100% of the time. Evidence could include: outlook calendar of the work you are doing; departmental timetable of teaching/meeting/classes etc that you are providing; notes from lectures/meetings etc; records of meetings / events; other evidence of administrative / research/ knowledge exchange work you are doing to make up 100% of your time.
  1. On receipt of the pay slip outlining the pay deductions for MAB, contact Payroll if necessary to get clarity on how the pay deduction has been made.  For example, how many days are deducted, what period does the deduction cover, what is the rate of deduction etc.
  1. At this point in the process, if you wish to talk about raising a grievance, please contact Andrew Dix, our Casework Co-ordinator, who will assign a caseworker to help guide you through the rest of this process.
  1. Keep all communication, correspondence and documents from the grievance and appeal processes, together with all your evidence of work done, communication from employer and pay slips outlining deductions.

Should the grievance / appeal not be upheld, the next stage would be to take the claim externally, which we and UCU regional will assist you with.

We will, potentially, be dealing with lots of information, for a lot of members, on this issue and therefore members may not get immediate responses. This will all take some time, so please be patient.

LUCU Committee