Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #USSstrikes

Most recents (14)

This year VC David Eastwood will be receiving an incentive bonus of £80,000 on top of his salary of £444,0000 (he also earns £90,000 for being chair of the #USS). He lives in a mansion owned by the uni (& pays no rent!), uses a University-owned Jaguar and is driven by a chauffeur
Worth noting is that when the bonus was set in 2015/2016, he was sitting on his own remuneration committee.

Photo 1 from the 2017/2018 accounts - it includes information regarding his bonus.
Photos 2 & 3 are from 2015/2016 & 2016/2017 - they include info re Remuneration cttee.
Meanwhile, staff at @EdgbastonPark Hotel (company set up and owned by UoB) have had a pay rise of 1p/hour, so their salaries match the new Minimum Wage rate (£8.21).

The Hotel are refusing to seek #LivingWage Accreditation and to recognise unions for new staff.
#unionbusters
Read 20 tweets
So, @CardiffUni is engaged in mega cost-cutting splurge (inc the 3rd VSS scheme in 6 years).
We've declared a dispute to fight compulsory job losses:
But the whole case for cuts is based on dodgy analysis, as we explain in this film
We've written to University management asking them to pause the whole "Transforming Cardiff" restructuring exercise.
You can read our detailed analysis here: cardiffucu.org.uk/2018/12/19/our…).
Or you can watch this longer (13 min) video here:
The #USSstrikes taught that our Union is strongest when combining expert analysis with unified industrial action.
We hope @CardiffUni will see sense, but the best chance we have of keeping our jobs is to have an active mandate for industrial action if/when redundancies come.
Read 7 tweets
Was going to make this clarification this morning anyway - because, as I mentioned Monday, I do not want to criticise wonks unduly:

But, having had several constructive conversations with wonks online & in person, I stand by my view these are good people, doing by and large, good work - the crux of my complaint is ultimately around different ideas of what politics is and the role of critique in HE policy.
So, this is more an articulation of what I see myself representing, and, without wishing to speak on its behalf, what I see the emerging field of #CriticalUniversityStudies could contribute to address our current crises in HE.
Read 38 tweets
Waiting to hear the results of the @ucu #USSballot

#USSvote #USSstrike
In #USSballot, I predict an equivocal result. Neither a robust rejection, nor an unqualified acceptance. Somewhere between 60/40 and 40/60. Maybe even 52/48. 🙄

For those interested, here's the preference in the respondents to the #USSvote survey...

#USSstrike @leedsucu
Once the results come out, I can re-weight these to be more accurate. But some interesting trends are apparent in terms of predictors of #USSballot preference

Look at the differences by Twitter use and awareness of #USSbriefs!

#USSstrikes #USSvote
Read 10 tweets
"The great strike 2018" session at #AAG2018 IS OPEN! When I can I'll tweet here. Follow the hashtag #NotAllGeographers
speaking about what happened on social media during #USSstrikes via 3 slices. Slice one: EARLY
Early phase involved repugnance with neoliberal VC's & development of #notallgeographers hashtag. Complex psychosocial movement positioning certain VCs as neoliberal beast.
Read 34 tweets
.@TPRgovuk published its annual funding statement for DB pension scheme valuations today. There are some interesting nuggets relevant to #ussstrikes [thread] thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/press/trustees…
The Director of Regulatory Policy said "Trustees should negotiate robustly with the sponsoring employer to secure a fair deal for the pension scheme, while employers should balance the interests of pension savers with returns to shareholders and investors....
... We are working more closely than ever with trustees to support them in this process". So, USS should be negotiating with @UniversitiesUK to provide the best deal for scheme members. USS should be looking after our interests. Are they?
Read 15 tweets
I am disturbed by the notion that the USS ballot debate has been framed as one between polarized identity camps in the union. No good ever comes of identity-based disputes. 1/9 #USSballot #ussstrike #ussstrikes #nocapitualtion
It would seem that we are being asked to vote because our individual perspectives should have some weight. And thus, it should matter that some of us have calculated that we *simply cannot live in retirement* on what they are offering. 2/9
Nor did we sign up to be impoverished in retirement when we took our jobs - we were offered terms that have already been reduced twice, in 2011 and in 2014. Each time we were told that would be the last change to the scheme. Each time that was a lie. So we struck now. 3/9
Read 9 tweets
Unhappy about proposed #USS pension cut?

Not convinced current #UUK offer protects you from significant & long term pension cuts. What if I told you that it's not the only cut your #USS pension has experienced 👇👇👇 #USSstrikes
Cut 1: Employer pension contribution holidays

Between 1983-1997, employers cut their contributions from 18.55% to 14%, resulting in an estimated £7 billion being lost from the value of the fund.
Cut 2: Closure of USS as a final salary (FS) scheme

By closing FS scheme in 2015, & moving members into a lower value DB scheme, it is estimated the value of a #USS pension was cut by 20% on average.
Read 5 tweets
It is becoming clearer and clearer that all feedbacks from votes from union branches show demands for substantial amendments to the proposal (ranging for asking institutional guarantees with TPR/USS to a full #NoDetriment clause). I of course fully agree with these demands. 1/9
However pls do not get distracted from the real shit that is happening in the backstage: an intentionally vague proposal has been written by UUK (never discussed by the union negociators who saw it 1h before) and released unilaterally last Friday evening. 2/9
It was then backed up immediately by Sally Hunt, with no guarantees in this proposal AND with the trick of pushing for an e-ballot to the members on this very text. The whole trap is here. 3/9
Read 12 tweets
I'm worried about the future of my employer, @OpenUniversity, under its Vice-Chancellor, @PeterHorrocks.

Part one of a series of posts explaining why I think there's about to be another crisis in UK HE. 1/x
The most important alarm bell: HoC Education SC, Feb 21st 2018, @PeterHorrocks answers a question about his salary, justifying it thus: "We are going to have to carry out the largest restructuring redundancy programme ever in UK university history" 2/x
parliament.uk/business/commi…
This announcement by @PeterHorrocks didn't surprise me (though the salary context did) because he'd already said to the Guardian in Nov 2017 that he was planning "many, many hundreds of job losses in the university". 3/x
theguardian.com/higher-educati…
Read 39 tweets
A long and possibly fruitless thread here on HEFCE’s 2007-2010 funding of 3 projects for the Employers Pension Forum. These were focused on developing a 10 year strategy for reform of pensions in the higher education sector #USSstrikes #NoCapitulation
Much of this is well-known, particularly the letter wrote by UCU Head of Higher Education, Michael MacNeil in summer 2010, to Alan Langlands (then Chief Exec at HEFCE) expressing concern about the one-sided nature of these EPF projects timeshighereducation.com/news/pension-r…
It was felt by UCU that these projects allowed the EPF to, amongst other things, develop a PR offensive which impacted upon the 2010 pension reform negotiations (resulting in the introduction of a career average pension scheme) ucu.org.uk/article/4739/C…
Read 21 tweets
Here's a THREAD on the #USS Trustees, powerful individuals whose role has been insufficiently examined, and who have been operating without the full benefits of public scrutiny.

#USSstrikes #USSstrike #WeAreTheUniversity #StrikeForUSS #DemocratiseUSS #DemocratizeUSS

👇👇👇
As the #USS dispute goes on, it's clearer than ever that the institutions that govern our pensions have been failing us in multiple ways. They are secretive, non-transparent, marked by conflicts of interest and revolving doors. We need to open up and #DemocratizeUSS.
Of the 5 “independent” Trustees of #USS, 4 have a background working for investment and financial services companies, the 5th used to work for Rio Tinto, the mining company, running their gold mines in Papua New Guinea.

Let's have a look at them.
👇👇👇
Read 33 tweets
This looks like good news from @TPRgovuk, opening the door to a #USS deal on the basis of the Sept 2017 valuation involved in the initial @UCU recovery plan, if only the remaining hold-out VCs will accept this. 1/x
But we should in any case beware one kind of mistake which comes from treating @TPRgovuk as some unmovable exogenous constraint on a #USS deal. (1) The #tPR view itself is in part a function of VC’s avowed positions on risk levels. 2/x
And, (2) as @AdamJTucker has pointed out, there is a good degree of flexibility in how @TPRgovuk operates, and its regulatory framework allows space for appropriate intervention from the government. See embedded thread:



3/x
Read 19 tweets
The #USSstrike has got many people thinking for the first time about pension governance, and about the agenda for overhauling the pension system that the left is going to have to pursue in the years ahead. Here's a thread with some useful reading.

#USS #StrikeforUSS #USSstrikes
Great post by @ewanmcg on @LSEpoliticsblog on the context of the #USS strike, issues in #USS governance, and the rent-extraction of financial intermediaries.

blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpol…
And an excellent piece by Christine Berry @oeufling for @openDemocracy @openDemocracyUK on the "hot mess" of the UK pension system and the iniquities of how financial intermediaries are taking us all for a ride:

opendemocracy.net/.../uss-tip-ic…
Read 12 tweets

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