Wor Blog

USS pensions

Although Northumbria is officially locked into the Teacher's Pension Scheme (TPS), members might be surprised to hear that some of their colleagues actually pay into a different pension provider. The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) officially covers academic staff at so-called 'pre-92' institutions; its members who join Northumbria have the option to remain with USS rather than transfer their pension to TPS. There are a number of differences between the schemes, including the percentage of their pay that members pay into the scheme, employers' contributions (both of which are very minor differences), to the pension that we can expect on retirement (which seems to be growing). This outlines a few of the changes as they stood in 2016.

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Chair’s blog # 4 of 2017 Work Intensification and workload planning, by Julia Charlton

Management want to re-negotiate our agreement on workloads, which we think helps to protect staff from overzealous managers, but it has not yet been in force for 3 years and has never been evaluated. We want data (just like they do) which proves the present agreement does not work, before we will consider a change.

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UCU needs you

Over the past months and years, your UCU branch has been incredibly busy in what has been a challenging environment, both locally and within the sector. Nationally, the Trade Union Bill is seeking to undermine the collective power of unions like ours. Locally, we are representing the interests of our members throughout an unprecedented avalanche of problematic issues: programme closures, workloads, grade reviews, electronic marking and feedback, PG teaching grades, casualisation, gender pay gap, health and safety, stress and mental health to name just a few. We are aware that the tangible results of our work on your behalf often go unnoticed! This is because we have limited resources and often we need to choose between doing our job and boasting about it!

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March for Europe review: Newcastle 4 March 2017


On Saturday 4th March, several UCU officers and members contributed to the North East March for Europe, organised by cross-party grassroots organisation North East for Europe. Amongst the purposes of the march, we aimed to celebrate the fraternal ties between our region and our continent, the contribution of the European Union to the development of the North East, and the human contribution of migrants, many of them from other EU countries, to a diverse, tolerant, progressive and optimistic society.

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