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Ongoing UCU industrial action

Posted on 02/03/2018
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14 March 2018

Message from Professor Edward Byrne AC, President and Principal

Dear Colleagues

Some of you will have already heard the disappointing news that an alternative proposal for reforms to the USS Pension Scheme was rejected by UCU members yesterday.  UCU have now confirmed that planned strike action will remain in place and have called for further talks between themselves and USS.

We strongly believe that our priority now is to find a resolution for this dispute that will not only put the future of the pension scheme on a solid footing, but bring an end to an anxious and unsettling time for our students.

To that end, King’s intends to confirm its support as an employer for the proposals that UUK put forward on Monday, accepting the increased costs that this proposal would mean for the university.

King’s continues to encourage ongoing constructive talks between UCU and UUK and urges all parties to take every opportunity to bring closure to this national dispute as soon as possible.

We will keep you updated with any further news as it arises.  In the meantime, I know we all share the same desire to support our students and each other through this difficult time. 

Best wishes

Yours sincerely,
PROFESSOR EDWARD BYRNE AC
President & Principal

 

2 March 2018

King’s continues to call for ongoing negotiations between UCU and UUK and we are pleased that talks are due to resume next week. We share the desire of our staff and students to see clear and rapid progress towards a resolution.  

We understand concerns about the potential impact of continued action. While strikes are taking place, our priority is to ensure that we support students affected and we are working hard to mitigate any disruption. 

King’s will not accrue any financial benefit from the industrial action by UCU and any salary savings will be ring-fenced as a fund which we can use to offset the impact of the strike on our students.  Once the nature and scale of disruption has become clearer, we will develop a mechanism for considering cases for any further compensation that may be warranted in light of cancelled classes. 

 

2 March 2018

Message from Professor Edward Byrne AC, President and Principal

Dear Colleagues,

In my message last week, I acknowledged that the UCU industrial action has been, and continues to be, a cause of deep concern for many. I also reiterated that I think it is critical that we do everything we can to resolve the issue for the benefit of both students and staff and would support the return to the negotiating table of UCU and Universities UK.

I am pleased to report that talks will take place next week between UUK and the UCU, mediated by the conciliation service ACAS. We have also had constructive talks between members of King’s management and UCU representatives this week.

Any resolution to the dispute will require flexibility from all of us, as we find a balance of the various components that will lead to a valued and sustainable pension scheme for staff and one the university can afford.

Personally, I think it would be useful if the ACAS talks explored an integrated approach to:

  • the differences in valuation methodologies and associated risk sharing arrangements;
  • the level of financial security staff can expect in their retirement;
  • how to encourage more staff to save for their retirement, and
  • any modest increases in contribution rates that may be needed.

Finally, it’s important that we continue to work together as a community during this period of disruption. Thank you for your help in dealing with this difficult situation and respecting the differing views of your colleagues.

I will update you with further progress as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,
PROFESSOR EDWARD BYRNE AC
President & Principal

 

23 February 2018

We are aware of plans for strike action by UCU running on a number of days between 26 February and 20 March 2018 and we are taking steps in order that there is as little disruption as possible to students’ education. King’s will be open for business as usual and we hope that any disruption to teaching will be minimal. In the event that teaching is postponed, every effort will be made to reschedule as soon as possible.

 

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