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UCU announces intention to ballot members

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The University and College Union (UCU) has announced that it will be balloting its members for industrial action related to changes to the USS pension scheme and a number of other issues.

UCU has indicated a ballot period opening on 18 October. Ballots will take place at a local branch level - at Reading the ballot will relate only to the USS issue. UCU is required to notify the University directly of any intention to ballot at least one week prior to a proposed ballot. Once this formal notification is received we will provide further details.

We reported previously on decisions reached at the USS Joint Negotiating Committee.

Universities UK - which represents universities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - said it was disappointed at the news of possible industrial action. It said, "The USS Trustee's assessment of the scheme's costs means reforms are needed; no change is not an option. The employers' reform proposal will prevent harmful and unaffordable rises in contributions. UCU may not like the legal and regulatory constraints pensions operate under, but it is irresponsible to make students and staff suffer as a result."

Colleagues may find it useful to re-visit the all-staff briefing in March, and a follow-up briefing in May, where Finance Director Andrew Grice and HR Director John Brady spoke about the different pension schemes offered at our University and the impact of this on the institution's finances.

A date for a further all-staff briefing will be confirmed shortly.

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