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Showing posts from February, 2018

Response to UCL's Provost: time to catch up with the evidence!

While thousands of people involved in this strike have come to understand that the USS valuation that triggered the action is based on a fundamentally faulty methodology, our Provost shows how out of touch he is by simply reproducing the Universities UK position in a direct message to staff. His message fails to respond to the comprehensive debunking this position has very publicly received (see links at end of this blog).

He has taken to issuing direct communications to staff since he faced a staff rebellion last May and this latest one is a testament to how our institutions is under the control of a Senior Management at odds with the staff of UCL and which regularly undermines the learning community that a university should be.

We give our responses to his, strangely badly-researched, points below (taken uncritically from UUK) and supply a reading list with analyses that provide actual evidence and argument showing why the UUK position is deeply, deeply faulty (both substantively an…

UCL Staff Survey Results: An Overworked, Underpaid, Workforce suffering a culture of bullying! Whilst VPs get bonuses

The UCL 2017 staff survey results are finally out, and what they reveal about UCL is really upsetting - it points to  an overworked, underpaid workforce with a culture of bullying: ·I can meet the requirements of my job without regularly working excessive hours (60%disagree) ·Compared to people working in similar roles in other organisations, I feel my pay is fair (59%disagree) ·I have witnessed bullying/harassing behaviour at UCL in the last two years (25%agreed)

 This is the same time in which Phil Harding, UCL Director of Finance, chose (on behalf of UCL senior management) to cheer on the UUK charge to slash university pensions, as this Freedom of Information request shows

Not only that, but this is at a time when it has been revealed that senior managers are getting performance bonuses on top of their pay packets at UCL


Full results of survey here.


UCL's Director of Finance, Phil Harding, endorsed that UUK adopt its current position and take away our DB pensions - meanwhile, Senior Management get bonuses!

After a recent meeting of Academic Board members that expressed lack of confidence in the current Governance of UCL,  the surprising news was released that members of Senior Management at UCL receive performance related Bonuses on top of their pay packet. In fact Rex Knight revealed publicly what his Bonus was for this year.

In this context we can judge the performance of UCL Director of Finance, Phil Harding who, at Universities UK (UUK), the employer's organisation, has been supporting the moves that will lead us to lose our DB pension. UCL, and its finance director, then are one of the institutions that endorsed the move at UUK to do this. See below, which was obtained by FOI requests (we thank Mike Otsuka for flagging this analysis to us). Those who are in the bonuses league are endorsing moves to take away the pensions of those who are not (reflect on that for a moment).
UCL's response to the September consultation of UUK members was written by Phil Harding (UCL Director …

UCL Rate of Deduction for USS Strike - not most progressive approach among HE institutions

UPDATE: UCL HAVE NOW AGREED TO DEDUCT AT 1/365th of salary per day of strike action.
they have also agreed to deduct pro rata for part time staff, and confirmed that 1/365th supersedes any communications mentioning 1/260th deductions.


In response to the coming UCU strike action to defend the USS pension scheme, a number of more enlightened universities have made it clear that they will deduct pay for strike action at the rate of 1/365thof our gross salary per day.
These include: City University (London)University of SheffieldUniversity of LeedsLancaster UniversityReadingCambridgeAberdeen
This is partly in response to a court case (Hartley and Ors V King Edward VI College 2017), where it was established that deductions should be by the days of the year (in that case what was material to the judgement was the fact that teachers could not complete all their appointed tasks by working only during working hours but needed to do work in evenings and weekends, as with most “professions”, says th…

Some questions on USS dispute answered: What's the intended outcome? What exactly are the employers imposing? Can you compare the figures disputed by different actuaries on this?

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These questions are answered in our leaflet on the dispute and by UCU's 'dispute questions', but we pick out some specific answers here:

-what is the intended outcome of the strike? See "What we can do" in above-linked leaflet:-

The decision of the USS Board to impose the employers’ 100% Defined Contribution plan now means that the only way of saving our pensions will be by pressure on university employers.

UCU has just completed an industrial action ballot of its members. At UCL, 57% of eligible UCU members (including IOE colleagues) returned their ballot papers. 90% voted for strike action and 95% for actions short of a strike. Staff in 60 other universities voted similarly. Strike action is planned to be hard-hitting and is likely to begin soon. It will be tough, but then the losses we face are devastating. The aim is to pressure the employers to reach a collective agreement with UCU that protects pensions.

Now is the time to join the union and take part in the a…