The UK Educators Pension Agreement: What’s the Catch for Employers?

a year ago

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According to the BBC, the UK educators strike over the pension cuts are finished. An announcement was made on March 12 that the university union leaders and employers had reached the preliminary agreement.

And yet, not everyone is pleased with the offered deal. There have been calls from some strikers to push for better conditions. In case the deal looks good to the higher education committee and branch union representatives at a Tuesday meeting, the strike will be suspended.

It is now the fourth week of the lecturer strikes which led to the cancellation of classes in 60 universities across the UK. The teacher walkouts have jeopardized the end-of-year exams and assessments. Sam Gyimah, the universities minister, had urged the educational institutions to arrange student refunds on fees for lost teaching time.

Are the Strikes Really Over?

It is expected there is going to be a “new, independent re-evaluation of the pension deficit” and “temporary arrangements” will be made to handle the funding gap. Under the deal, both employers and employees are required to make higher pension contributions in a 3-year transitional arrangement.

Under the agreement, the UK universities are expected to reschedule the classes disrupted by the strike. According to the Independent, the terms of the new pension agreement didn’t sit well with almost 9,000 university employees on social media.

A statement opposing the deal says that the agreement is, in fact, postponing long-term pension scheme decisions. The authors of the statement have urged their colleagues to push for “a more decisive victory".

In spite of this, many university heads are likely to support the deal agreed with the union. Still, there is also a possibility that strikes will continue in April and May if the university representative body declines the agreement.  

UPDATE: As of March 14, the UK educators continue the strike. It became known that the conditions of pension scheme revision didn’t suffice with the angry strikers. Hashtags #USSstrikes #NoCapitulation #NoDeal all over Twitter and Facebook call for an agreement between UCU leaders and UUK to be rejected. According to the Independent, the university staff across the UK will enter their 12th day of strike action on March 14. The UCU will prepare the walkouts for the exam period.

We will continue to follow the story as it unfolds.

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