Academy Council statement on the current USS dispute following the outcome of the UCU consultative ballot

April 13, 2018

The Council of the Academy of Social Sciences, which comprises 1200 distinguished Fellows and 43 member Learned Societies from across the social sciences, is relieved to see that a process has been agreed to address issues relating to the current dispute regarding the USS pensions scheme.

We recognise that even with this agreement, important issues remain. Resolving these will need time, expertise and good will on all sides.  It will in the first instance require openness in matters relating to the pension valuation and the options that may follow.  We welcome the agreement that a mutually-agreed expert panel should review the USS pension valuation.  If the Academy of Social Sciences can do anything to assist in identifying those who might play a part in the technical discussions at hand, we would be happy to help.

More generally, longer-term resolution will require rebuilding trust.  UK universities face many challenges that require recognition that they play a role not only economically but also more broadly in society.  To meet these challenges, it is vital that universities continue to be able to attract the best minds of the next generation to engage in both research and teaching, and fulfil these broader roles, as well contribute to national and regional economies.  A long-term and secure settlement of this dispute is in the interest of universities, their staff, and their students in the UK.

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