Category Archives: USS

Why are university staff going on strike?


  My son has started sending me the announcements he’s been getting from his University about impending strike. He’s at one of two Universities who have been leading the charge amongst employers calling for an end to DB accrual in … Continue reading

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Oxford’s and Cambridge’s role in the demise of USS – Mike Otsuka


To be more precise: what follows is an account of the role of these two universities, and their constituent colleges, in the demise of USS as a multi-employer scheme that promises a decent, defined benefit (DB) pension to its members. … Continue reading

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Can strikes now prevent the imposition of detrimental changes on USS? – Mike Otsuka


The regrettable answer is that they almost certainly cannot Please click here — “A mandate ‘to retain a decent, guaranteed pension’” — for an important update to the post below. This UCU mandate supersedes the Manchester resolution discussed below (Mike Otsuka)   At a … Continue reading

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Pensions: universities could learn lessons from Royal Mail


David Pitt-Watson and Hari Mann believe there could be a way to settle the ongoing pensions row amicably   University employers and university staff are locked in a dispute about pensions. Both have reasonable positions. The employers say that the cost … Continue reading

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The magnitude of the challenge facing University staff – Mike Otsuka


Normally, an employers closing a DB plan for future accrual wouldn’t be that controversial, but our universities aren’t normal employers and these are not normal times, Mike Otsuka gives the background to the impending dispute between the Universities, its staff … Continue reading

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“Don’t object to the cost- if it’s of your making” -Otsuka reasons with the UUK


Applying the lesson of Prof Cohen’s kidnapper to USS Universities UK objects to a union proposal on grounds that “it requires scheme members to pay much more for a reduced pension benefit”. UUK’s concern for our bank balances reminds me of … Continue reading

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“No alternative methodology was proposed” – Mike Otsuka calls UUK


Why it matters that this claim of UUK’s is false UUK’s Q&As on the USS valuation from mid-December end on a perplexingly obviously false note, which I highlight in bold: “UCU have raised a number of concerns regarding the USS valuation … Continue reading

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The incoherence of UUK’s attitude towards risk – Mike Otsuka


Low risk is intolerable when shared by 350 institutions but high risk is fine when borne by workers individually USS’s current troubles, and UUK’s proposed solution, reflect an incoherent attitude toward risk on the part of our employers. Their responsibility … Continue reading

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“You break it – you own it” (Mike Otsuka on “consequences” at USS)


Why employers must pay for the £2.4 bn rise in the USS deficit As USS makes clear, employers are collectively responsible for the increase in the deficit from £5.1 bn to £7.5 bn and the accompanying increase in deficit recovery contributions … Continue reading

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Is the USS really in crisis?


Professor Dennis Leech is Emeritus Professor of Economics at Warwick University. This week has seen the University Employers threaten to withdraw sponsorship for future DB accrual, the University Union announce intended strike action and the DWP Select Committee ask fundamental questions about … Continue reading

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