University strikes could be called off after breakthrough in talks over pensions dispute

The Independent reports that strikes by university staff could be called off this week after employers and union bosses appeared to reach an agreement over a bitter pensions dispute that has disrupted campuses across the country.

The University and College Union (UCU) agreed on an interim solution with Universities UK (UUK) on Monday after six days of talks through the conciliation service Acas.

The deal would require both employers and employees to pay higher pension contributions in a three-year transitional arrangement.

A spokesman for the UCU said the agreement would be considered by its higher education committee and branch representatives on Tuesday. If they approve of the proposals, the industrial action is expected to be suspended from the next day.

A wave of 14 days of strikes is due to end with a five-day walkout between Monday and Friday this week.

Under the deal agreed on Monday, universities would be expected to reschedule classes disrupted by the strike.

But the terms of the agreement have been met by anger from many university employees on social media. 

The UCU’s branch at the University of Liverpool issued a statement which said “members in our branch and across the country did not join one of the most impressive shows of collective solidarity in the face of restrictive trade union laws for a compromise offer that does not guarantee them decency in retirement.”

Read more University strikes could be called off after breakthrough in talks over pensions dispute

Are you taking part in the strikes? Are you affected by the strikes? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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