Join UCU and help defend USS

Dear colleague

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These are difficult times to work in our universities. Much of what we used to take for granted is under attack, working life is becoming harder and less secure and now as you will have heard our pension scheme, the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), is facing an unprecedented attack.

Following the overwhelming vote by our members in favour of taking action to defend our pension scheme, on an unprecedented turn-out, if you join TODAY you will be entitled to join the action that is now underway.

Whenever you joined USS the proposed changes will negatively affect your pension. The final salary section – already closed to new members – is due to be closed entirely, while the career average section is due to be devalued even further. This will cost members of the scheme thousands of pounds in lost benefits. Furthermore, the proposals would mean that your pension benefits will be less than colleagues in the new universities who belong to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS). Why should those in ‘pre-92’ institutions get lower benefits than those at the new universities?

How will it affect me?

These changes will affect every member of USS. For example, a 25-year-old joining USS under the employers’ proposals and retiring at age 68 with a final salary of £54,841 would receive retirement benefits of just 71.1% of the value of those of the closed final salary scheme – a drop of £9,064 a year. Existing USS members stand to lose as much as 27% of their pension, leaving them thousands of pounds a year poorer in retirement.

Joining your union today is more important than ever as it’s only by standing together than we can defend our future pension benefits.

If you join the University and College Union today, you will also be taking a big step toward greater peace of mind at work:

  • we are the largest post-secondary education union in the world
  • every day, our trained representatives and legal advisers work to resolve hundreds of individual problems at work
  • we’re an active, campaigning union, arguing the case for our universities with government, fighting to protect our members’ jobs and striving to improve working life in our institutions.

The more members we have, the better able we are to stand up for university staff and to defend your pension.

Join us today and you will join the only organisation that really understands the importance of our academic and related professional staff and speaks up for them every day. If you do not feel able to, or do not wish to join the union at this time, we would like to request that you nonetheless support your colleagues who are taking action and losing pay in order to defend all of our pensions. Please do not cover work which would normally be done by your colleagues who are taking part in the action and please let someone know if you are asked to do so.

Thank you for your consideration and for taking the time to read this message.

Yours sincerely

Sally Hunt
UCU General Secretary

PS Our monthly fees are among the lowest around, and start as low as £2.67 for those earning the least. Most members can claim tax relief on 67% of the subscription, which reduces the cost even more! For our current subscription rates see here: http://www.ucu.org.uk/subscriptions