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In the end I voted no. I didn’t have confidence in #UUK to rebuild trust on its own terms. I didn’t feel able to vote for a panel whose terms of reference were not laid down in advance. I didn’t think these were unreasonable demands then.
I don’t think they are unreasonable demands now. However, it is clear how much vigilance will be required on how #UUK will seek to shape process. But it is not clear to me now who will provide this and how it will happen.
Having put this to the ballot I want @ucu to now tell us the key processes, roles and points at which we as branches, #uss members, and university employees will be able to shape next stages in #ucustrike. But I am not confident here either.
Read 4 tweets
Don't usually like massive threads, but want to expand on this condensed reaction Friday's offer/agreement on #USS re
#USSstrike #ucustrike #Strikefor USS #NoCapitulation #NoDetriment 1/9
While I agree with all the #NoDetriment statements about being naive to trust UUK/'indepdendent' panel, & related demands/amendements suggested for the statement, believing that a more specific clause would be the end of the struggle is equally naive. 2/9
We could strike until we got everything we wanted writ down,but at some point we'll go back to work (!)&then inevitably pension manager crooks will continue attempts to subvert the agreement, inc using requirements of the pensions regulator to continually revisit arrangements 3/9
Read 9 tweets
Just wondering why @UniversitiesUK & #uss can’t just back down now on DC? Why is a new panel & more delay & stress for all of us a victory? Are we really getting excited that they have said the panel would recognise our concerns re DB? #nocapitulation #UCUStrike #ussstrike
2/ is this what we’re losing 14 days pay over? Another panel & no guarantees? After we basically showed up the problems w de-risking, huge potential equalities issues (which they can’t realistically address before 2019 bc they appear to be starting from zero on that score ...
3/ ... and they know we’re onto them re financialisation of pensions, & we all now are talking about the DB/DC fight, which has immense implications for other occupational pensions ...
Read 7 tweets
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OK, here goes.

My current "What happened around pensions, USS & UUK in 2015?" folder. [This follows on from: threadreaderapp.com/thread/9731361…].

Same aim as the one from 2014: to serve the #ucustrike #ussstrike. Please distribute / send additions / corrections.
First, I need to add a couple of missing things to the 2014 timeline. I was trying to find Imperial College London’s response to UUK on USS’s consultation, but the link on their website no longer works. But it has been stored elsewhere. #ucustrike #ussstrikes
25 Nov 2014 [from doc properties] "Imperial College London’s response to UUK on USS’s consultation" warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/statis…. They strongly question the assumptions within the model, & argue for greater transparency #ussstrikes #ucustrike Screen shot of page one of document linked to in the tweet
Read 86 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 thread ⬇️ still sums up my thoughts on what would be enough. I’m going to expand in a personal note to @ExeterUCU. If you have liked or RTed this, i wonder if you might like to do the same with your branch rep #nocapitulation #ucustrike #letsdoprocess
For me, point 2 refers to retaining current DB/DC mix, with potential to revise some key parameters - thresholds, accrual rates, contributions etc within acas negotiated offer - after evidence from new independent valuation, modelling of impact for ecr and addressing governance
I’m also going to sign the #USSAthenaSwan letter calling for equality issues to be central to future process of #USS review. Thanks to @claire_marris and @turingfan and others for putting that together.
Read 4 tweets
"The present organisation, @UniversitiesUK, originated in the 19th century when there were informal meetings involving VCs"

@warwickuni holds *967* boxes of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors & Principals (1890-2004) mrc-catalogue.warwick.ac.uk/records/CVC
#justchecking
#ussstrikes #ucustrikes
1 Dec 2000: Committee of Vice Chancellors & Principals (CVCP) becomes Universities UK.

"University chiefs want to get rid of their "men in grey suits" image – & their representatives have re-launched with a new name and identity" news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education…

#ucustrike #ussstrikes Screen shot of BBC article referenced in the tweet
"Universities UK – who does it represent & what does it do?", GR Evans, Council for the Defence of British Universities, March 12, 2018 cdbu.org.uk/universities-u…
#ucustrike #USSstrikes
Read 4 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
How did universities communicate -- and how are they communicating now -- in relation to the #USS pension crisis? Many communications are held within the university's intranet #USSStrikes #ucustrike
University of York recent pension communications: much is for the university's own staff only (incl. the VC's message to staff on 31 January 2018): york.ac.uk/admin/hr/news/… #ussstrikes #ucustrike
University of Exeter recent pension communications: much is for the university's own staff only (incl. Q&A session on 10 Jan 2018 by Chief Financial Officer [& someone else] search.exeter.ac.uk/s/search.html?… #ussstrikes #ucustrike
Read 6 tweets
19 September 2014: Here are slides from presentation "USS Update – AHUA Conference, 19 Sept. 2014". AHUA is the representative body for senior University managers in UK & Ireland. As far as I can see, the AHUA does not go back to conferences before 2016 ahua.ac.uk/event-type/con…
USS Update – AHUA Conference, 19 Sept. 2014:

Here is the 5th slide. Notice the Employers Pensions Forum footer. The slide is titled UUK response to USS. Benefit package should include re-defining the salary linkage for past service<br />
final salary benefits.<br />
• Majority of institutions would prefer to focus primarily on extending CRB for<br />
all<br />
• Leave potentially more radical changes for a later date.<br />
• A significant minority favour more radical action sooner.
USS Update – AHUA Conference, 19 Sept. 2014. (Not available on the AHUA website)

Here is the 6th slide. Benefit Changes<br />
Redefine final salary a “given”?<br />
CRB for all, or more radical<br />
solution?
Read 7 tweets
After a week of exploring the role of consultancies in shaping the shift to DC benefits in #USS pensions with @felicitycallard and @CLIVEYB , this week I am delighted to announce the launch of the new "Picket Pensions Consultancy" (#PicketPC ) #ucustrike #usstrike
Anyone who needs a quick recap on how consultancies shape landscapes and appetites for risk might want to check in with the archiving of this thread by pensions expert @henryhtapper henrytapper.com/2018/03/08/the… #uss #ucustrike see also #ucustrike #usstrike
If you want a longer academic read on how consultancies are contributing to reshaping the direction of financial innovation around universities, and why this matters, you can can explore the synthesis of @CLIVEYB #ucustrike #usstrike
Read 10 tweets
Over the weekend, I have been fixated on trying to understand all that happened in 2014 as key to the current (2018) university pensions crisis #ucustrike #ussstrike. An earlier thread is attached below. #ucustrike #ussstrikes
When I'm not on strike, I usually research by piecing together published, archival & grey literatures to build up a rich tapestry through which to get a grip on shifting phenomena. How do 'objects' & phenomena gain consistency & tractability? How do they change in form?
So here are some of the things (official lit, grey literatures, weblinks, newspaper/magazine articles etc.) that are currently in my "What happened around pensions, USS & UUK in 2014?" folder #ucustrike #ussstrikes
Read 114 tweets
Today's reading: getting to grips w recent history of UUK, particularly in relation to 2014 consultation on USS funding. Placing these public links on Twitter for others to read, digest & use as we piece together last few years.
Too tired to comment today. #ucustrike #USsstrikes
UUK's response (2 December 2014) to USS consultation document on 2014 Actuarial Valuation (October 2014). Document provides glimpse of how UUK, working with their advisers Aon Hewitt, was thinking at the end of 2014 employerspensionsforum.co.uk/sites/default/…
I am now slowly reading through the university (& college) responses to the 2014 UUK USS valuation consultations -- only possible because of all @nm_davies's amazing FOI work. (Search under 2014 AND USS & UUK here whatdotheyknow.com) #ucustrike #ussstrike
Read 14 tweets
I am still following UUK, Employers Pension Forum (ucea.ac.uk/en/empres/pens…), Aon around. Still fascinated by how futures are made. #ucustrike #USSstrike
This time I'll excerpt from 2 documents stored on the UUK website: universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-ana… & universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-ana… NB Both still carry a 'confidential' watermark, but there isn't any firewall #ucustrike #ussstrike
We know from recent events that UUK isn't always the most technologically proficient. Maybe they forgot to take the watermark off. Maybe they forgot to put them behind the firewall. Who knows. #ussstrike #ucustrike
Read 29 tweets
Reconstructed thread on the role of consultants in "Challenging the “DB good, DC bad” viewpoint' and 'How do we make flexible retirement the norm?' for the #USS pension scheme. #ucustrike (thanks to @felicitycallard)
Here is the line for consultancy fees, including scheme change, in 2017 in the #USS accounts. uss.co.uk/~/media/docume… …. There is no information in the document about who these millions have gone to. #ucustrike
But we have clues .. here is the powerpoint presentation author (from @AonHewitt to UCEA in 2015) and the of advisors in the 2017 #USS documents
Read 11 tweets
Back to the complex links between gov policy, consultants, pension plans -- & the making of worlds & futures.

Or: where my trawl through parliamentary committees has taken me today & how it bears on current @ucu & @UniversitiesUK negotiations #ucustrikes #USSstrikes
See @ucu's list of things it wants to work with employers on, particularly what is in the orange rectangle #USSstrikes #ucustrike ucu.org.uk/article/9364/F…
Aon Hewitt -- the consultancy Universities UK has been working with since at least 2007 -- has been pushing CDCs (or 'defined aspiration'/'defined ambition') [wow, the language] in its engagements with government at least since 2012 publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cm… #USSstrikes #ucustrike
Read 20 tweets
Some more on the complex relationships between pension consultants & government pension reform. I'm putting these on to Twitter so that those more expert than I on this topic can use, reflect, comment (cc @FrenchShaun @ewanmcg @gailfdavies @CLIVEYB) #ucustrike #USSstrikes
I've been trying to follow Aon Hewitt (given that Universities UK have had a long relationship with Hewitt/Aon Hewitt (at least since 2007 universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-ana…). Hewitt was purchased by Aon in 2010 nytimes.com/2010/07/13/bus… #ucustrike #USSstrikes
How do we understand the relationship between policy change, consultancy behaviour -- and, crucially, the behaviour of Universities UK in relation to pensions? So I started looking at the work of parliamentary committees and where Aon Hewitt appears #ucustrikes #ussstrikes
Read 21 tweets
In case you haven't yet read @gailfdavies' fantastic tweets on the role of consultants in embedding a particular vision of 'flexible retirement' as the norm in universities, start with tweet below & then follow the tweets -- & links -- to the present #ucustrike #ussstrike
Inspired by @gailfdavies & @CLIVEYB's reflections, I've been thinking about how to understand the last decade or so in terms of discourses & practices around risk, collectivity, flexibility etc. in relation to university pensions #notallgeographers #USSstrike #ucustrike 1/
I've been tracking through the docs on pensions available on Universities UK website. Oldest document appears to be "Strategic enquiry into the pension arrangements for the higher education sector" published 2007 universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-ana… 2/ #ussstrike #ucustrike
Read 33 tweets
I enjoyed reading the @AonHewitt advice to universities re #USS on "Challenging the “DB good, DC bad” viewpoint' and 'How do we make flexible retirement the norm?' and thought those in @ucu and on #ucustrike might too ucea.ac.uk/download.cfm/d…
And perhaps not surprisingly the presentation has now disappeared. I am delighted to have been able to share highs of the 'future potential me' and lows of the 'current future me' with people. Thank you all for playing
If you wish to return to this one, it has been added to a wiki site where @SusiSadler is archiving information, arguments and issues about the #USS #ucustrike
Read 4 tweets
1/ Major UK media outlets, even those sympathetic to the #ucustrike, continue to reproduce the UUK’s premise of a ‘£6bn deficit’ in the USS pension scheme without question.

As someone who teaches critical thinking for a living, this irritates me. It also deceives the public.
2/Let’s start with the basics. There is currently no deficit in the USS scheme. None. This has been verified by an independent actuarial analysis: ucu.org.uk/media/8705/Pro…
3/ The money coming into USS from contributions matches or exceeds what’s going out in pension payments. USS is in the black. Solid. Healthy.
Read 12 tweets
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