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Professor Debby Swallow's Statement on the UCU Strike

Professor Debby Swallow, the Courtauld's Director and Vice Chancellor, has issued the following statement after a request by the Courtauldian for the Courtauld's management's position on the current UCU strike.

"The current dispute between University and College Union (UCU) and Universities UK (UUK), the organisation that represents UK universities nationally, relates to the pension arrangements of those who are members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme. Like pension schemes worldwide, this scheme is under substantial financial pressure and now has a deficit which is not sustainable and is therefore unacceptable to the Pension Regulator.

The Courtauld fully recognises the importance of good pensions to attract and retain the best staff, and understands the distress caused by the proposed changes to the current system of defined benefits. We also deeply regret the disruption that the strike is causing to our students’ learning.

My colleagues and I are working closely with the Students’ Union to do everything that we can to minimise this disruption and to protect the students’ experience, whose learning is paramount to us. The Courtauld has been urging UUK and UCU to resume talks on the pensions dispute as this must be resolved at a national level. I am pleased that talks between the parties resumed yesterday informally and will continue with the assistance of ACAS. I very much hope that a resolution to the dispute can be found as soon as possible."

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