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Ballot of all pension scheme members essential if consultation process to have any legitimacy, says UCU

16 July 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

UCU today said a ballot of all members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) was required if the forthcoming consultation process was to have any legitimacy.

The union was responding to an apparent fudge on the issue from the Employers Pension Forum (EPF). EPF said today that there was no statutory requirement for a ballot of all members during the consultation period on changes to the pension scheme. That process is expected to run from late September until the end of the year.
However, UCU said a ballot was now essential in the light of unfortunate revelations last week of taxpayers' money being used by EPF for a PR campaign and catering. The union added that the process needed to be fair and transparent and the easiest way to consult with the thousands of USS members was through a ballot.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'UCU will be pressing for a ballot of all USS members to ensure the proposed changes have the support of affected staff. We would hope the employers share our desire to ensure change of this magnitude is properly mandated, not simply pushed through.
'The consultation process needs to properly engage with members in a fair and transparent way. Last week's unfortunate revelations about taxpayers' money being spent on a PR campaign and catering mean that a ballot is now essential if the consultation process is to have any legitimacy.'
For more on the controversy about taxpayers' money being spent on PR campaigns and catering: Controversy as taxpayers' money used to fund catering and PR campaign in pensions row