Principal’s update on USS pension dispute and industrial action

Peter Mathieson, Principal of the University, sent out an email to all students on March 23 with an update on the USS pension dispute.

The email read:

“I am very aware that some of you will have incurred additional expenses directly as a result of the industrial action. For example, some students on part-time, blended or professional development programmes have borne the cost of travel, childcare and/or accommodation to attend a teaching event which was then subsequently cancelled because of the strike action.

“It is only right that the University should reimburse such additional expenses incurred. We will announce a simple process shortly to enable you to evidence these costs and receive individual reimbursement.

“I recognise that many of you have asked us to consider tuition fee refunds and we have not yet been able to give you and your fellow students a simple answer on this. The reality is that we do not yet know the full extent to which the implications of cancelled lectures and classes can be mitigated.

“We are focusing on mitigation as an absolute priority. For those of you who will be studying with us next year, that offers a further opportunity to make up for the implications of any lost teaching time, if necessary. We are, therefore, particularly prioritising our mitigation on those of you who are going to be graduating this year.

“In that context, I welcome the fact that the UCU have agreed a joint statement with us yesterday which agrees that that they will give priority to the student learning experience over the next few weeks and months.”

The joint statement given by University Secretary Sarah Smith and UCU Edinburgh Representative Suzanne Trill on March 22 conveyed that “the student learning experience should be prioritised over the next few weeks and months”. The priority in particular will be given to “final year undergraduate honours students, professional accredited courses and one year taught masters students”.

Also noting the impact of deductions of pay, the statement read that the Mathieson has “confirmed that there will be no deductions for action-short-of-a-strike in the interests of maintaining partnership working at this difficult time for our staff and students”

Updates on the USS pension dispute and industrial action, along with the other news from the University can be found here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/staff/2018

 

Image: Rosie Duckworth

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