Update on ballots for industrial action

The results of recent ballots by the University and College Union (UCU) signal possible industrial action this winter.

UCU’s two ballots have now closed and the results provide a mandate for industrial action – strike and action short of a strike – related to disputes over proposed changes to USS pension, and pay and other related issues. While UCU secured this mandate at Leeds, they have not done so at a number of other universities.

The future of the USS pension scheme – the subject of the first ballot – can only be resolved at a national level, via a statutory process involving all the parties. It cannot be solved by this or any other university alone, and we hope that all parties remain open to talking, despite the outcome of the ballot. A statutory employee consultation is open until Monday 17 January 2022, providing scheme members and eligible employees with a route to share any comments or concerns about the proposed changes. We are offering independent information sessions alongside this consultation.

Most of the other issues in dispute – which were the subject of the second ballot – are within our gift to tackle. We are already taking action at Leeds to address UCU’s concerns about workload and casualisation. Commitments to improve these areas are already firmly part of our strategic plans, as demonstrated by our Fairer Future For All pledges.

We await UCU’s decision on its next steps. Our priorities are to protect the interests of our students, to retain the cohesion of our community, and to protect the standards of Leeds awards.

Related information:

USS Pension

Fairer Future For All