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Durham University

Notices

Frequently Asked Questions

List of FAQs

+How will my pension be affected by undertaking strike action?

The University’s position to date has been to maintain full employer pension contributions (on days when strike deductions are being made) on the understanding that the employee maintains their full contributions. In previous years this has been essential to maintain life and incapacity cover and has therefore been applied as a default position to all staff taking strike action.

For this period of strike action USS have notified us that they have put in place an alternative arrangement for life and incapacity cover to remain in place even if where staff opt not to maintain full pension contributions.

As there are now two options available for staff to consider, the University is not able to continue with the default position adopted in the past.

Option One - if you wish to maintain full employee pension contributions

Regretfully, we have been advised that if you wish to maintain full contributions during strike action we must know in advance if you are taking part in industrial action. This is to ensure we have your permission to continue to pay your full USS employee contributions for each day of action (the University will also maintain full employer contributions where employee contributions are being maintained).

For staff who elected to maintain full contributions during the strike action of 25th November – 4th December 2019, this position will be maintained unless confirmation is received that this is no longer your wish. Staff in this position have been contacted directly and should email industrialaction.reporting@durham.ac.uk if they wish to change to option two for the strike action scheduled from 20th February – 13th March 2020.

If you wish to maintain full contributions and you have not previously informed the University please email industrialaction.reporting@durham.ac.uk to confirm, in advance, that you wish to maintain full USS contributions for each day of action. You should email no later than 5pm on Friday 28th February 2020.

The information gathered as part of this exercise will not be used for any other purpose other than applying the correct pension contributions. The emails received will be held confidentially within HR and will not be used for the purposes of gathering advance information about strike action.

Option Two – if you do not wish to maintain your employee contributions

If you do not wish to maintain your employee contributions on days you are taking strike action you do not have to take any action. If we do not receive an email from you by 5pm on Friday 28th February as outlined above, we will not deduct your employee contributions for days you are taking strike action (please note in these circumstances the University is unable to maintain the employer contributions). Under this option members of staff taking strike action will continue to have cover for death in service and incapacity benefit only.