Striking lecturers at the University of Manchester have voted unanimously to reject Universities UK’s new pensions offer.
Hundreds of lecturers turned out to vote to continue their industrial action at a meeting on the morning of Tuesday 13th March 2018.
The vote comes in the fourth week of the current strike, with three planned days of industrial action left. However, the Universities and College Union (UCU) has threatened further strikes if an agreement is not reached.
The proposed deal would see a “transitional benefit arrangement” period lasting for three years, among other changes. UCU members have taken to twitter to express their concern over the temporary nature of the deal, with some suggesting it may simply delay strikes for three years instead of finding a permanent solution.
Many have also criticised UCU’s suggestion that lecturers should “prioritise the rescheduling of teaching” as unpaid work.
Meetings are taking place at universities across the country to vote on the proposed changes. Currently, every university has voted to reject the deal including Oxford, Cambridge, and King’s College London.
If the offer had been accepted, strikes would be due to end tomorrow. However, the rejection means strikes will be expected to continue this week and may affect the summer exam period if a new agreement cannot be reached.
So far there have been no acceptances of the deal, although some votes are still pending.
An open letter has been written to UCU national leadership, asking them to reconsider their position on the offer. The letter accuses the UUK’s proposal of “kicking a serious solution to the pension dispute in the long grass” and suggests that “in three years time we will be demobilised and pressured to accept a worse deal”. The letter currently has over 50,000 signatures.
The University of Manchester have declined to comment.