This morning (Tuesday, 13th March) the Bristol branch of the Universities and Colleges Union voted to reject the deal put forward by Universities UK at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) talks. The national UCU have also rejected the deal.
The Bristol branch was one of 34 UCU branches to reject the proposed deal after claims that it failed to properly address the problems posed by USS reform. The deal was reached after 6 days of talks between UUK and the UCU under the auspices of ACAS and has been widely critisied by academic staff.
In an online survey conducted by Bristol UCU, 222 voted to put the agreement to consultation and 516 voted to reject the agreement outright out of 738 responses. Bristol UCU tweeted: "the branch has made #depthoffeeling clear:"
Related: UUK and UCU reach agreement
The full terms of the agreement can be found here . The highlights include a three-year transitional period where staff could still be on average 25-30% worse off.
At the Emergency General Meeting (EGM) held by the UCU, members overwhelmingly rejected the deal. The meeting was attended by around 250 members, according to Bristol UCU.
This means that strikes will continue to affect teaching and assesment and may even lead to a second wave of strikes over the exam period.
The decision informs Bristol UCU's representative at the briefing in London today and a new deal will have to be reached if the strikes are to be called off.
The UCU said: "The Union said the strikes and action short of a strike will remain on, and it would now make detailed preparations for strikes over the assessment and exam period"
UCU General secretary Sally Hunt said: 'Branches made it clear today that they wanted to reject the proposal. UCU’s greatest strength is that we are run by and for our members and it is right that members always have the final say.
‘The strike action for this week remains on and we will now make detailed preparations for strikes over the assessment and exam period. We want urgent talks with the universities’ representatives to try and find a way to get this dispute resolved.’
Featured image: Epigram / Cameron Scheijde