The University and College Union currently has a mandate for national strike action over pay, pensions and working conditions. This applies to all universities and is part of a long-running dispute between national bodies.

Staff in different areas don't always agree and we fully respect people's right to take industrial action. We continue to have constructive dialogue with UCU locally and we always do as much as possible to avoid action taking place here.

USS Pensions

One of the major issues on the ballot is changes to staff pensions.

Everyone's pension payments and benefits built up to date are secure, however changes to future benefits were put in place last year. While the situation is regrettable, we think that changes put in place were the best option to avoid unaffordable rises in contributions for employees and employers alike. There is more information on this on our USS Pension staff webpages.

Casualisation

Job security is a major concern at national level for UCU, including people at the start of their careers in particular have secure contracts.  

Since 2019 we have worked with our local UCU branch to halve the number of casual contracts and we have eradicated all zero-hours contracts, replacing them with more secure contracts. We do still have a number of staff on casual contracts but this is only where that particular arrangement works well for both parties.  

Pay

Our staff work incredibly hard and we want to make sure they are rewarded fairly and as well as possible.

In the absence of a national agreement on pay, at Kent we have implemented a pay increase of 3% for most staff and up to 9% for those on lower grades. This is on top of the annual increments which many staff automatically receive. 

We have also put in place a Reward Strategy to help ensure our pay policies are fair for everyone.

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