Strike action which may have continued into exam time has been called off as members from the Universities and College Union (UCU) voted to accept a proposal made by Universities UK (UUK) at the end of last month.

In what was a record turnout for a national ballot, 30,000 members of the UCU voted by two to one to accept the offer. The offer will establish a joint committee of experts who will examine staff pensions provided by the University Superannuation Scheme (USS), and then make recommendations.

UCU and UUK will now jointly present plans to the USS Board and Pensions Regulator. UCU said it expected the agreement between the fund’s key stakeholders to be welcomed.

However, the UCU said that while all planned strike action is suspended, it will still keep its strike mandate live as a precaution until this process has taken place.

The poll among UCU members closed at 2pm today. 21,683 UCU members voted to accept the offer made by UUK. 12,230 members voted to reject the offer.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt thanked all members in an email sent earlier today. “Thank you so much for participating in this record breaking consultation and for all your support for the union throughout this historic dispute”, she said.

“We will now get on with the job of making the joint expert panel work for you and your pension.”

A spokesperson for UUK said the decision “gives students important reassurance that they won’t be affected by further disruption during their summer study and exam period.”

“Current pension benefits are guaranteed until 1 April 2019, so the panel will need to conclude its work in time to put in place a sustainable way forward for USS from that date,” they added.

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