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.
We are pleased to report that Universities UK, on behalf of USS employers, and UCU have agreed to work together on the future of USS benefits. This positive development reflects recent changes in financial market conditions and a significant improvement in the financial position of the scheme, as well as what can be achieved through constructive discussion between the national parties.
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.
This is a national dispute with negotiations continuing between employers, unions, and university-wide UK bodies. Whilst we have limited agency in resolving it, we will continue to do all we can by working with UCU locally.