Michael Otsuka Profile picture
Sep 18, 2018 19 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
A blog in which I argue for the importance of acceptance in full by union and employer of the proposals of the Joint Expert Panel on #USS. Further remarks below on the graphed 65%-35% employer member split of contribution increases. 1/
Link: medium.com/@mikeotsuka/uc…
Some have questioned my claim that the 65%-35% employer-member split of the 3.2% contribution increase graphed above in the righthand column of Figure 10 of the report is among the JEP's proposals. 1/
Whether or not JEP ‘proposes’ this, they are offering a clear steer in the direction of a 65%-35% split. The JEP chair also says the following in the introduction: 2/
“On the basis of our analysis we have made a number of recommendations, the overall effect of which would be to reduce the valuation estimates of the future service cost and deficit to the point where the increase is small enough to allow the Joint Negotiating Committee..." 3/
"...to be able to reach an agreement so that the issues currently facing the Scheme can be resolved, recognising that compromise may be needed on all sides.” 4/
Some are urging @ucu to insist that contribution increases should fully be absorbed by employers. This would be to adopt an uncompromising position, in which members give away nothing. 5/
Moreover, this version of No Detriment is not @ucu policy. The union's current policy (HE6) goes further, in calling for no increase whatsoever in contributions, for employers as well as members. 6/
Adopting No Detriment would also be contrary to the April ballot of members, in which 64% voted to set up the Joint Expert Panel and even many who opposed made clear that this was not because they supported No Detriment, but rather because they supported 'revise & resubmit.' 7/
Given this clash with the April ballot, those who are pushing @ucu to adopt No Detriment should provide members with an answer to the following question: Would you be willing to put No Detriment to an electronic ballot of members now? 8/
More specifically, would you be willing to put the following question to members?: 9/
“Would you accept a settlement in which status quo benefits are preserved (except for the 1% DC match), at the cost of a 1.1% increase in member contributions accompanied by a 2.1% increase in employer contributions?..." 10/
"...Or would you reject any settlement in which employers do not absorb all 3.2% of the contribution increase?" 11/
👆Ask: Is your No Detriment stance something you're willing to put to a vote of the membership as a whole now? If not, why not? 12/12
The union's position will be settled in a special sector conference in Manchester on Wed 7 November. (See link for details.) Branches send delegates & motions that pass become binding @ucu policy. 1/
I anticipate that some branches will table motions that bind UCU negotiators to refuse to accept any member contribution increases. Any such motion should be amended so that it renders such binding conditional on member ratification of this policy by above-worded e-ballot. 2/
I anticipate that those who table these motions will resist such amendment, because they know they would lose a vote of the membership as a whole. Members should instruct their branch delegates to insist that members as a whole decide. 3/3
Union negotiators must also be given space to "engage fully and constructively with the JEP’s proposals". Therefore, conference motions that bind negotiators to no detriment should be rejected. 2/2
A new short blog. What it says on the tin. Why No Detriment is now self-defeating:

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More from @MikeOtsuka

Oct 6, 2018
.@UCL_UCU has responded on Twitter to my linked blog post "Questions for advocates of No Detriment". Below I expose two problems with their response. 1/
In that blog, I ask: "Do you think union members would vote to authorise a strike for a No Detriment elimination of their 1.1% rise for three years rather than accepting the JEP-modelled solution?" 2/
.@UCL_UCU's rejoinder is that they are proposing a negotiation of a No Detriment elimination of any rise in contributions, not only of the modest 1.1% over the next three years, but also beyond that three year period. 3/
Read 18 tweets
Oct 3, 2018
.@UCL_UCU branch officers reveal that they misunderstood an important aspect of the JEP report when they pushed for their No Detriment motion today. In the embedded tweet, they write that JEP "don't refer accrual rate to JNC": 1/
In my subsequent exchange with @UCL_UCU that begins with the embedded tweet, I demonstrate that it is just as clear that they refer accrual rate to JNC as that they refer cost-sharing to JNC. 2/2
Read 5 tweets
Oct 3, 2018
A query for @UCL_UCU regarding their tweet below: 1/
If employers call for a cut to DB accrual from 1/75 to 1/80 in order to keep employer contributions down to 19.3% on a 65%/35% employer/member cost-sharing basis, would that also be consistent, in you view, with acceptance of the JEP recommendations in full? 2/2
Here I elaborate on my above query, in an email to @UCL_UCU President Sean @SeanAWallis or anyone else who would like to respond:
Read 5 tweets
Oct 3, 2018
It has been over a month since @Sam_Marsh101 submitted his Addendum to the JEP and #USS. If he's right, the current valuation contains a significant, hidden layer of prudence ABOVE AND BEYOND the following that JEP lists here: 1/
I say more about the significance of Sam's Addendum in this blog post, where I also explain why #USS and @GuyCoughlan owe us an answer to Sam's findings. 2/
I believe that, so far, this is the only response @Sam_Marsh101 has received: 3/
Read 11 tweets
Sep 29, 2018
🚨💣😱.@Cambridge_Uni's response to a 2016 consultation re strength of the #USS covenant has recently been released via FOI. Cambridge disputes PWC's finding of a strong covenant over 30 as opposed to merely 20 years! The following statement in their response is a bombshell: 1/
"We would be concerned if the increase in visibility of a strong covenant was used to support a less prudent approach to the 2017 valuation than that adopted in 2014, either in terms of the assumptions adopted or the time horizon for de-risking." 2/
We are all aware that tPR's challenge, in their Sept 2017 letter, to the PWC/#USS assessment of the strength of the covenant, wreaked havoc on our DB pension and helped explain the shift to the more conservative November valuation. 3/
Read 25 tweets
Sep 26, 2018
JEP RECOMMENDATION #3: Smooth the cost of future service contributions over at least the next 6 years. As this chart indicates, this would reduce contributions by 1.5%. 1/
#USS's failure to smooth the cost of future service contributions constitutes a significant hidden layer of prudence. See this blog post: 2/
...and this blog post: 3/
Read 8 tweets

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