A thread on Oxford University’s position on USS pensions

Two years ago on this day, after the walkout of congregation and against a backdrop of national #UCUstrikes on USS pensions, the VC of @UniofOxford acknowledged the depth of feeling around pensions and reversed the University’s position on the detrimental changes to pensions 1/n

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Shortly after, the UCU dispute was settled nationally, putting off the change from DB to DC pensions, and agreeing to the formation of the joint expert panel 2/n

What has happened since locally in Oxford? Council, the body responsible for the administration of the University and for the management of its finances and assets, resolved to protect staff pensions 3/n

Specifically, council committed to seek to provide pension provision for USS members employed by the University that is of the same standard as currently available, subject to the duties of the Council, as a trustee body, to serve the interests of the University as a whole 4/n

Sounds good. But what next? In October 2018, Council re-examined this commitment, and decided that ‘pensions of the same standard’ meant simply that staff would get DB pensions; even if the cost were to increase 5/n

Moving forward to the current dispute; UCU is striking again nationally over pensions. The position of the University of Oxford in this dispute has, until very recently, been unclear 6/n

Oxford UCU wrote to the VC on the 13th of February asking for an improved offer on USS, to avoid further strike action 7/n

We never heard back. But we have learned the position of council, and it is to not offer any more money to settle the dispute 8/n

This is where we are; back to the past, unfortunately. The historic walkout of congregation at @UniofOxford and its consequences have now largely been reversed 9/n

We urge everyone at @UniofOxford to get involved, so that this position is reversed. Other large and influential Universities in the UK are doing so. We do not see why ours cannot 10/n

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