University pension deal sees summer strikes cancelled

The planned wave of disruptive strikes by university staff over the summer has been cancelled after Universities UK (UUK) agreed to withdraw plans for pensions that could have left lecturers up to £10,000 a year worse off in retirement. 

Instead of pressing ahead with the plans, UUK has agreed with the University and College Union (UCU) that the scheme should be evaluated by an independent panel of experts. In response, the UCU has voted two-to-one to call off a planned wave of 14 days of strike action at 64 universities.  

Responding to the news, UUK said, "The decision by UCU members to support the creation of a Joint Expert Panel means that strike action is immediately suspended. This gives students important reassurance that they won't be affected by further disruption during their summer study and exam period." General Secretary of the UCU Sally Hunt said the news will "hearten workers across the UK".