Felicity Callard Profile picture
Sep 15, 2018 13 tweets 11 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
2. #JEP has a lot to say about Test 1. Its sentence 'The view of the Panel is that Test 1 is not well understood outside of USS' is ... well ... certainly marvellously diplomatic.

Cf. and 6/
3. #JEP's discussion of #USS's & #UUK's 'differing perspectives' on the shift from Sept to Nov valuation shows just how murky the deliberations that resulted in this shift still are.

This remains a big issue, given #JEP proposal to reassess employers' atttude to risk (p. 45) 7/ Extract from p. 45 of JEP report
4. #JEP agrees w many of us that UUK's 'framing' of questions around risk in their consultations has serious consequences.

How can we be confident that any future assessment of employers' risk appetite by UUK shows an improvement in their use of social scientific methods? 🧐 8/
5. We don't know exactly how much data/info from #USS was given to #JEP – even as there are clear references (** 'strength of feeling' klaxon **) to concerns from @ForPension & others about #JEP access to #USS modelling and data (p.49) (#USSbriefs26 medium.com/ussbriefs/open…) 9/ excerpt from page of JEP report mentioned in tweet
6. We should really push on #JEP's raising of the possibility of developing mechanism for involving Scheme members – *US* – in valuation process or in assessing *our* appetite for risk (cf. point 10 of our #USSbriefs44 manifesto): medium.com/ussbriefs/a-ma… 10/ point 10 of USSbriefs manifesto linked to in tweet
7. The #JEP reads as a document written in the midst of significant debate & deliberation over the valuation (e.g. see p. 54)

If @USSbriefs & @OpenUPP2018 (ussbriefs.com/openupp2018/) have played a part – alongside other actors – in keeping the pressure up, then I'm happy. 11/
8. #JEP tells us it received 55 'unique submissions' – 12 from institutions.

Several of us at @USSbriefs have sweated all summer to track down, edit & publish 18 of them (see all the b&w @OpenUPP2018 briefs at medium.com/ussbriefs)

We've published 18.
We know of 3 more.
34 remain – 12 from institutions; 22 from Scheme members/other interested parties.

📢 We'd love to track these down: get in touch if you can help.

Not least since we don't know if #JEP plans to make evidence public at some point 13/
9. PwC appendix 6 (slides from August 2018 report) draws on, I'm guessing, the PwC covenant review mentioned in UUK's July briefing paper to employers academicfreedom.watch/sites/default/…

Some of them (particularly key covenant metrics) are illegible. Can #USS or @USSEmployers help out? 14/ Figure from Appendix 6 of JEP report (which is illegible)
10. Last (for now) – and very much not least:

I had assumed there was an implicit Oxford comma in the JEP ToR ucu.org.uk/media/9341/USS…

i.e. that 'intergenerational fairness' was distinct from 'equality considerations'. 15/ Section from JEP Terms of Reference that mentions intergenerational fairness and equality considerations
But #JEP report 1 appears to assume that 'fairness and equality' refers specifically to *intergenerational* issues (p.20)

I haven't seen other 'equality' considerations – including around ethnicity, race, disability, gender etc. – addressed in #JEP report 1. 16/ section on intergenerational fairness and equality from the JEP report
(Though I'm wondering if there's an implicit assumption of cis heterosexuality built into female mortality assumptions: 'the partners of females are assumed to be 3 years older than their partner on death' (Annex 10)) 17/ Annex 10 -- section of % of females leaving behind a dependent
So I'm ending w a plea that #JEP report 2 assumes an Oxford comma & addresses: 'the unique nature of the HE sector, intergenerational fairness, AND equality considerations'

#JEP report 2 is crucial. If it doesn't adequately address equality considerations, we're in trouble 18/18

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More from @felicitycallard

Oct 2, 2018
Given importance of HE sector "there may be a case for future governments to consider alternative options" (incl "state-backed guarantee" or "measures enabling more risk-taking"). Powerful piece from @JMariathasan on #USS DB debate post-#JEP ipe.com/analysis/blogs… #USSstrike 1/
Article argues that central problem lies in regulatory changes that transformed management of a DB pension scheme into "a risk management problem, not an investment one" 2/
Read 4 tweets
Sep 22, 2018
Thank you to @EricRoyalLybeck & all the other organisers in Exeter, as well as @ExeterUCU: Volunteer University Revisited was such a magical day. Gathering all of our energies for the months & years to come #YesVolUniCan 1/
Particularly magical to meet some people in the flesh for the first time -- incl. @thetroutpouts @lizmorrish @TheGraceK @sstroschein2 Mike Finn, Alison Wood, @ProfAlastair @ms_rhian @NoisyBits 2/
So many ideas for ways forward. So many kinds of expertise being bought to bear on what now, how, for universities as a community. Also so many testifying to violence, intimidation, threats to academic freedom – & of particular subjects being of course more exposed 3/3
Read 4 tweets
Sep 16, 2018
There's a bonanza of new FOI responses that give us a much better sense of the range of university responses to #UUK #USS consultations from Oct 2016 and Feb/March 2017. Picking through them it's fascinating to see which universities challenged the direction of travel 1/
e.g. Aberdeen: "Aon ... & UCU have indicated that it may be advantageous to consider other models. We are interested in the Trustees views as to whether there are alternative models that could result in a more considered outcome" whatdotheyknow.com/request/508696… cc @aberdeen_ucu 2/
e.g. LSE: "We note that the latest benefit changes were implemented less than 12 months ago. The School’s view is that it is too soon for further changes to be made." whatdotheyknow.com/request/509128… 3/
Read 6 tweets
Sep 16, 2018
So with the publication of the #JEP, the issue of UUK consultations with employer institutions is back big time. Both the famous Sept 2017 survey – and now the possibility, if JEP recommendations are taken up, of UUK reassessing employers' appetite for risk.

I'm worried. 1/
#JEP has emphasised the problems with how UUK framed the questions. What's really obvious if you look back Sept survey is that all the focus is on risk and on a *reduction to benefits*. And NOT on the potential to increase contributions. Or on amending the technical provisions 2/
You can see the structure of the questions here, in Nottingham's response (one of the institutions that wanted less risk): whatdotheyknow.com/request/440685… 3/
Read 18 tweets
Sep 15, 2018
After a few weeks away from Twitter, I'm back to think – alongside many others – about content & rhetoric of the #JEP.

And abt what we at @USSbriefs have been doing all summer w @OpenUPP2018 to encourage deliberations over #USS valuation to take place in public #USSstrike 1/
Many (incl. @NJSHardy @gailfdavies @DrJoGrady @etymologic @MikeOtsuka) have already provided cogent analyses of the #JEP report & its implications. So here I'll just going to pick out some of what has struck me most forcefully on a first read. #USSstrike 2/
1. There's a judicious use of rhetoric – particularly around 'confidence', '(mis)understanding' & 'communication'. This cleaves closely to that used by #UUK & Bill Galvin – whether that is deliberately so as to increase likelihood of acceptance by those parties, you can decide 3/
Read 5 tweets
Aug 17, 2018
It's been a pretty busy week at @USSbriefs HQ.

We published @BenPatrickWill's fantastic brief on what's coming down the chute in terms of transformation of HE into performance data. An essential read – & glorious @acupunctureUSS design #USSbriefs40 medium.com/ussbriefs/numb… 1/
We published Richard Farndale's (in consultation with @CambridgeUCU Exec) excellent set of questions for the #JEP in our @OpenUPP2018 series #USSbriefs41 medium.com/ussbriefs/cruc… 2/
We published @carlomorelliUCU's excellent submission to #JEP (in our @OpenUPP2018 series) on the wider context & political economyof EU legislation – & discount rates – around pensions #USSbriefs42 medium.com/ussbriefs/euro… 3/
Read 9 tweets

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