USS Pensions Justice!

UCU members took serious and sustained industrial action in the face of damaging proposals from the employers which would effectively destroy the USS pension scheme. But the fight is not over!

Your pension contribution is already 8.8% of your salary. USS has ignored most of the Joint Expert Panel’s (JEP) recommendations for changes to the discredited valuation methodology. If no agreement can be reached that the employers will pay any increases that arise, your contribution could go up to as much as 11% of salary by October 2021. Even worse the employers may seek to save money by reducing benefits or even closing the ‘defined benefit’ part of the scheme.

UCU’s policy is for NO increases in member contributions and NO cuts to benefits. We must act now to protect our interests and secure pension justice for our committed and hardworking membership. It is vital that we get this issue sorted now. If we wait and hope for the best, the progress that we fought for and won in last year’s strikes may be lost. Failure to insist now that the scheme is properly valued or that the employers at least pay for any unjust increases in contributions could lead us back down a path towards the downgrading of benefits and even the reprise of proposals to end the guaranteed pension itself.

Motions passed

at EGM March 26

Stamp out casual contracts

UCU believes that high quality education and fair working conditions depend on contracts that give staff stability and continuity of employment. Casualisation is bad for staff and bad for education, yet it's endemic in our colleges and universities.

Help build the campaign in your branch. Read more & download the anti-casualisation pledge [160kb]

46% of universities and 60% of colleges use zero hours contracts to deliver teaching.

68% of research staff in higher education are on fixed term contracts, with many more dependent on short-term funding for continued employment.

Stamp Out Casualisation is UCU's campaign to win continuity of employment and fairer contracts for casualised staff.

The campaign against casualisation is one of UCU's national priorities.

Original University of Sussex Royal Charter from 1961


In the current Charter the University Court and almost all the powers of the Chancellor have been removed, which greatly reduces the accountability of the Vice-Chancellor and Council.  Please read this original charter for a view on how the University was intended to be run.

HE national negotiations 2019-20


The joint higher education trade union national claim has been agreed by the five HE trade unions - UNISON, Unite, EIS, GMB and UCU - and was submitted to UCEA in March 2019.

The claim, which covers pay, equality, workloads and precarious contracts, is available here.

Tackling Inequality in SPRU and campus-wide

The three campus unions have written to HR to express concerns about discriminatory treatment of staff in SPRU and asking to meet with the Vice-Chancellor and other members of senior management to discuss the issue of equality across the University.  The full text of the letter can be read here.


No Borders on Campus:

Ending hostile treatment at Universities

In line with other branches of UCU, Sussex UCU are calling for the Vice Chancellor’s commitment to end the hostile treatment of migrants, people of colour, and Muslims at the University.

This is the letter we wrote to the VC on the rights of staff who work here on visas.  And this is his response.

Please read and sign this petition to support the campaign

​​2% Pay Offer Rejected


Members in higher education have voted to reject the Universities and Colleges Employers' Association's final below inflation pay offer of 2%, and as part of the consultative ballot have resoundingly voted for industrial action in the latest campaign for pay and equality in higher education.


82% of members responding to the consultation voted to reject the offer and 65% said they were prepared to take industrial action in defence of their pay.


The turnout was 47.7%.


The next step in the campaign is a comprehensive get out the vote campaign for a national strike ballot to open in August and close in October




The University passed an interim Freedom of Speech policy in September 2016, to comply with its obligations under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.

This includes an External Speakers' Policy, which must be followed for all events involving an external speaker.

UCU's position on Prevent, and materials opposing the programmes, and briefing members on how it will affect them, can be accessed here.

Sussex UCU will fight to defend the freedom of speech of its members, and continue working to ensure that any Freedom of Speech Policy contains appropriate safeguards and is being applied in a non-discriminatory manner.