New JNCHES – pay negs – full claim published

The full Joint Unions claim on pay and conditions was published last week. The headlines are:

  • an increase on all pay points of at least RPI + 2% or a flat rate of at least £2,500 (whichever is greater) and a commitment to restore lost pay.
  • Equivalent rises to London Weighting and any other allowances
  • A new minimum pay rate of £15 an hour.
  • All institutions to become Foundation Living Wage employers and pay points below the FLW to be deleted.
  • UCEA should commit to a comprehensive reform of the pay spine

The full claim is quite readable, provides a rationale for the headlines and includes a number of additional claims – e.g. To establish the Scottish sub-committee of New JNCHES.

Link below:


2024 Joint Union claim


An Aber UCU update vlog

There’s a lot going on! We want to give Aberystwyth UCU members a sense of things, and to ask for your help.


How are Aber UCU involved in representing the branch locally?


Faced with rumours and plans what can you do?


UCU Ballots

UCU ballot forms will have dropped through your letter boxes.

These are for several positions within UCU structures, including the UCU General Secretary, Vice-President (FE), National Executive Committee (NEC) and representatives of women members.


Aber UCU encourages members to participate in this vote.

  • The voting period runs: 25th January – 1st March
  • Details, including election statements from each candidate for every post, are included in the pack.
  • Voting is based on single transferable vote i.e. you rank as many or as few candidates as you wish.

There are four candidates standing for General Secretary of UCU:


Vicky Blake

Jo Grady

Ewan McGaughey

Saira Weiner


Online hustings for General Secretary involving all the candidates will be on Thursday 1st February.


There is also a UCU Cymru hustings event on 17th February


Two candidates are standing for the single Wales HE seat on NEC:


Phillip Allsopp (Cardiff University)

Estelle Hart (Swansea University)


Happy balloting!

Check your payslips

You should notice an increase in take home pay this month if you pay into USS. Contributions have dropped and benefits increased.

Many of our members participated in industrial action last year to restore pension benefits lost in April 2022 because of the decisions of UK universities. It worked. Pension contribution rates have been reduced from 9.8% to 6.1% AND benefits restored to pre-2022 levels AND losses incurred by staff over the past two years is being returned.

Collective action does work. Join a Union.

Ending the year with good news for (Aber) UCU members

USS pension contribution rates to fall on 1st January

19 December 2023

The Universities Superannuation Scheme, the UK’s largest private pension fund, will cut contribution rates on Monday 1 January.


The announcement comes after UCU and employer representatives voted through changes at the USS Joint Negotiating Committee yesterday that will see employee contributions fall to 6.1%, down from 9.8%. For a member earning £45,000 this will mean a monthly saving of £111 after tax.

The change is the latest victory in a pension dispute that has seen UCU members take 69 days of strike action since 2018. In February (2024) the deed for restoration and recovery will also be voted on, before being implemented from Monday 1 April 2024. This will reverse cuts employers forced through in April 2022, by:

  • reinstating the previous accrual rate of 1/75
  • increasing the defined benefit threshold from £40k back to where it would have been had changes not been implemented, at around £70k
  • removing the 2.5% pa cap on pension increases before and after retirement which will better protect pensions against inflation.

There will also be an additional one-off pension payment of around £900m to help make good the money members have lost since April 2022.


UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘This is a great day for our union, for members of USS, and the whole trade union movement. This is a trade union putting money into its members’ pockets.

‘We now move on and pressure employers who are now making a huge saving on their contribution rates. That money must be used to improve pay and conditions for staff.

‘Well done to every UCU member who played their part in getting us here – the bitterly cold picket lines suddenly feel a lot more worthwhile.

‘We will take the spirit and example set by this win and seek to apply it right across our union now.’


UCU national elections 2023-24

UCU ballot for members of NEC and other elected positions, including the General Secretary, opens on 25th January 2024.

Turnout for such elections has typically been low. Aber UCU will encourage branch members in the coming months to cast a vote.


A full list of candidates and the roles they are standing for can be found here: List of confirmed nominations


Branch members are eligible to vote for the General Secretary, along with the single geographically-elected seat on the NEC allocated to Wales.