UCU Annual General Meeting

UCU Annual General Meeting

3rd July 2018 in Lecture Theatre 201, Skempton Building, South Kensington

12:00 – Buffet lunch

12:30 – AGM

  • Election of Branch Officers
  • Elections of members to the local committee
  • Discussion – the new proposed salary structures, in particular for the Academic and Related (AR) salary scale

NB  The local committee is keen to recruit new members. If you wish to stand for election to the local committee at any level, please contact the IC UCU Local President at m.mcgarvey@imperial.ac.uk as soon as possible.

13:15 – Joint Trade Union meeting

  • We will be joined by members of Unite and UNISON JTU meeting to discuss the response to College management regarding our pay claim and their pay offer for 2018

Papers will be available at the meeting

Pay Negotiations

UCU negotiates your pay directly with College, along with Unison and Unite. More members  = greater influence. We negotiate wages for all academic and academic-related workers at Imperial College London. The 2018 Pay Claim documents are below:

Summary – Joint Imperial College Trade Unions Pay Claim 2018

Imperial College JTU Pay Claim 2018

For 2018, the timetable for pay negotiations is:

  • Friday 20 April 2018: Imperial Joint Trade Union Pay Claim Meeting
  • Tuesday 24 April 2018: Pre-Local Pay Bargaining Meeting (to discuss outcome of Pay and Benefit Review), with Trade Unions and Management
  • Tuesday 1 May 2018: Local Pay Bargaining meeting 1, with Trade Unions and Management
  • Friday 18 May 2018: Local Pay Bargaining meeting 2, with Trade Unions and Management
  • Friday 15 June 2018: Local Pay Bargaining meeting 3, with Trade Unions and Management

UCU members of the pay meetings:

  • Michael McGarvey (President)
  • Tom Pike (Vice President)
  • Amanda Sackur (Regional Representative)

College Management members of the pay meetings:

  • Louise Lindsay (Director of HR)
  • Audrey Fraser (Head of HR)
  • Lynne Cox (Director of Research Office)
  • Jane Neary (Head of Campus Services)
  • Tony Lawrence (Director of Financial Management)
  • Neil Alford (Associate Provost – Academic Planning)
  • James Stirling (Provost)

USS Under Attack

Attention All USS Members!

In light of the recommendations of the Joint Expert Panel and on the new material evidence that has come to light showing that USS’ valuation is demonstrably flawed, it’s very important that large numbers of USS scheme members send a clear and unified signal to USS and to our employers regarding the way in which USS has handled its 2017 valuation. UCU Imperial urges you all to submit a consultation response this week along the lines of this template in this USS Brief:


Number 61: #USSbriefs61


Strike Action

UCU members took serious and sustained industrial action in the face of damaging proposals from the employers. Imperial UCU experienced fantastic turnout on picket lines and an almost 60% increase in membership throughout the dispute.

At the start of the dispute, the employers wanted to end guaranteed pension benefits. They refused to enter into further talks. Strike action and action short of a strike brought the employers back to the negotiating table for ACAS talks which resulted in a proposal which was subsequently rejected. On 23 March, UUK agreed a new proposal to be put to UCU members in a consultative ballot. On 13 April, the results of this ballot were announced. UCU members voted to accept the UUK proposal.


Imperial UCU Calls on College Management to Support a Return to the USS September 2017 Valuation

In their email to staff of 27th February, The President and Provost suggested a further delay to spend more time scrutinising the assumptions and methods of the USS valuation.

Imperial’s Registrar has been a key participant in the USS Valuation Discussion Forum, Imperial also took part in a preliminary consultation in February/March 2017 on the assumptions of the valuation, and a further consultation in September 2017. Senior people at Imperial do not need lessons on the technical side.

A minority of USS institutions rejected the proposed level of risk in the already prudent September 2017 consultation, prompting USS to revise the valuation in November, introducing even more prudence and further increasing the “deficit”.

As between the September and November valuation approaches, Imperial has sufficient information to know that it makes more sense to delay the ‘de-risking’ to years 11-20 rather than to start it immediately. The November 2017 USS presentation to Imperial, reinforces this case.

Imperial’s own expert working group said in their 10th November reportIt is important to realise that the words “de-risking” are being mis-used. Moving the scheme to less risky investments appears a “good” thing, but these less risky investments have historically poor returns and now is probably an optimally poor time to make this change. Other institutions within UUK appear to have misunderstood that de-risking now is potentially “risking” instead.

Although the USS valuation must be publicly scrutinised, there is no need to delay things in the meantime. Imperial should already be in a position to re-iterate its support for the September 2017 valuation, as compared with the November one, and to call for UUK and USS to return to the September valuation.


Useful Resources:

UCU frequently asked questions: https://www.ucu.org.uk/uss-action-faqs

See how the proposed change might potentially reduce your expected pension by between 40% – 75% with this DB / DC comparison spreadsheet from Mike Otsuka, LSE

Blogs by Dennis Leech, Emeritus Professor of Economics Warwick, Visiting Professor of Government, London School of Economics

Blogs by Mike Otsuka, Professor, Dept. of Philosophy, Logic & Scientific Method at LSE, including Would a shift from bonds to growth assets keep the USS afloat?

Blogs by Henry Tapper, Director of First Actuarial

Articles by Jo Cumbo, Pension Correspondent, The Financial Times

USSbriefs: a set of papers by academics on the many dimensions of the USS pensions dispute


Strike Flyers & Leaflets




Imperial Communications:

Open Letter to President and Senior Management 2502018

Letter from President and Provost 27022018

Open Letter to President and Senior Management 04032018

Letter from President and Provost 06032018

Open Letter to President and Senior Management 06032018

Letter from President and Provost 09032018

Open Letter to President and Senior Management 09032018

USS Letter Pensions Regulator to UUK 07122017