USS talk dates between UUK and UCU confirmed

Five January dates have now been confirmed for talks on reforming the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), with representatives from the University and College Union (UCU) and Universities UK (UUK) to attend.

The meetings, which begin next week on Wednesday 15 January, will be chaired by the chair of the USS Joint Expert Panel (JEP) Joanne Segars, with senior members from each organisation attending.

The talks will focus on agreeing the approach for progressing recommendations from the second report from the JEP, which was published at the end of 2019, as well as issues around the 2020 valuation of the scheme.

Plans for the meetings were confirmed late in December 2019, following eight days’ worth of strikes at 60 universities across November and December.

In December, UCU also announced that strike ballots would open at a further 24 universities, meaning that strike ballots will close at a total of 36 universities on 28 January.

Commenting on the upcoming talks, UUK chief executive, Alistair Jarvis, said: "We’re pleased to be able to move forward quickly with these tripartite talks and encouraged by the strong commitment from all parties to work constructively together.

“Priorities for discussion include full consideration of the recommendations of the Joint Expert Panel’s second report; jointly agreeing a refreshed scheme purpose and valuation principles; reforming the governance; and exploring different approaches to the valuation methodology for 2020, acknowledging the respective roles of each party in this process.

UCU general secretary, Jo Grady, added: "We are keen to get going with these talks and to work with all parties to look seriously at how we can reform USS.

"If we are to avoid further disruption at universities over USS then we all need to work together and look at issues like the valuation and the scheme's governance."

The meetings are to take place on 15, 17, 23, 27 and 29 of January, and may be followed by further talks depending on the progress made.

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