Two-thirds of University and College Union members have voted to accept the latest Universities UK proposal and end the strikes.

The union held 14 days of strike action last semester to protest the changes being proposed to their pensions schemes, but 64% have voted to end the strike and accept the latest proposal, on a turnout of 63.5%.

The new proposals mean that a joint expert panel will be set up to re-examine the USS and the valuation. The UCU and the UUK will propose these ideas to the USS Board and the Pensions Regulator.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: “Members have participated in record numbers in the consultation, with a clear majority voting to accept the proposals. The union has come a very long way since January when it seemed that the employers’ proposals for a defined contribution pension were to be imposed.

“Now we have agreement to move forward jointly, looking again at the USS valuation alongside a commitment from the employers to a guaranteed, defined benefit scheme. USS, the regulator and government now need to ensure that UCU and UUK have the space to implement the agreement effectively.

“We hope this important agreement will hearten workers across the UK fighting to defend their pension rights and was won through the amazing strike action of UCU members.

“UCU has more work to do to ensure that the agreement delivers the security in retirement that university staff deserve. On behalf of all UCU members I want to say thank you to students and other staff for their inspiring support throughout the dispute.”

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