23 February 2018
Responding to a statement from Universities UK (UUK) saying it would talk on Tuesday 27 February, UCU said it would certainly be attending as it had been calling for talks for weeks. The strike action planned for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday is still on.
However, it said that unless the employers were prepared to talk about the January decision to slash pensions then it did not see how the dispute could be resolved. In its statement UUK said “talks would not re-open the Joint Negotiating Committee decision made on 23 January”.
That decision is the very reason staff are on strike.
UCU said it was disappointed UUK had ignored the wishes of universities minister Sam Gyimah who stated explicitly that the talks should be without preconditions.
University and College Union general secretary Sally Hunt said: ‘Because this is so serious for students and for staff we will of course attend. I am however very concerned that UUK has explicitly ruled out discussing the imposed changes that have caused the strikes.
‘The universities minister was very clear that he wanted talks without preconditions and we hope UUK will reconsider his words before we meet on Tuesday. We remain committed to serious negotiations aimed at resolving this dispute.’