Andrew Chitty Profile picture
Apr 13, 2018 12 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1. Here's a 12-tweet thread on today's UUK statement, made shortly after the UCU ballot results were announced, first via Josephine Cumbo and then on their website.…
2. In it I compare the new statement with UUK's original offer of 23 March, which is also on their website.…
3. There are two sentences in the new statement which interpret the original proposal in a certain direction. The first says "Reviewing the methodology and assumptions in the current valuation will build confidence, trust and increase transparency in the valuation process."
4. This piece of spin was absent from the original proposal. It is natural to read the sentence as meaning "Reviewing the methodology and assumptions in the current valuation will build confidence, trust and increase transparency in *the existing* valuation process."
5. This is so especially since Alistair Jarvis used similar wording ('confidence', 'transparency') in the notorious "we'll appoint a JEP by ourselves" UUK press release of 18 March.…
6. If this is the correct reading, then UUK are signalling that they see the purpose of the JEP as to confirm the validity of the existing valuation. Obviously this is not at all how the 64% of UCU members who voted Yes in the ballot understood the purpose of the JEP.
7. The second sentence in the new statement says: "Current pension benefits are guaranteed until at least 1 April 2019, so the panel will need to conclude its work in time to put in place a sustainable way forward for USS from that date." This is a non-sequitur, but no matter.
8. What it suggests is that it will be possible to appoint a JEP, have it agree a valuation methodology, make any necessary regulatory changes, do a valuation, put it through JNC and implement it, all by April 2019. But this is only possible if the JEP's remit is very limited.
9. In short, within hours of the ballot result UUK have already started to define the JEP review in the direction of 'superficial, quick and confirmatory' rather than 'root-and-branch, thorough and potentially transformative': as 'JEP lite'.
10. In this light another, apparently innocuous, sentence takes on a new meaning: "It is important that interested parties engage with the panel and remain open-minded about its possible findings." The meaning is this: "UCU members must accept the results of the JEP review.
11. Even if they turn out to be disappointingly close to the existing valuation."

In short, UUK are already in the business of redefining the proposal of 23rd March in their favour, and demanding that UCU members accept that redefinition.
12. The UCU leadership needs to reply with a rapid and firm riposte, as (to their credit) they did to the UUK press release of 18 March.… (End of thread)

#USSstrike @sussexucu @CambridgeUCU @sheffielducu @UCU_RankFile @OxfordUCU @UCL_UCU @josephinecumbo

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More from @aechitty1

Mar 27, 2018
Hi Carlo, as an ordinary UCU member I am concerned about process. In her email today (reproduced at…) Sally Hunt says that all last week, 'working through ACAS' she pressed UUK on the issues of a joint expert panel and ...
meanwhile taking 'the current proposal to axe the guaranteed pension off the table'. She then says 'The proposal from UUK is their final response to that pressure from UCU'. This suggests (a) that there were informal contacts between Sally Hunt and other UCU leaders and UUK ...
and (b) as part of these contacts UUK communicated to Sally and her colleagues that the offer they sent on 23rd March was their 'final response', and (c) the UCU negotiating team were not part of this whole process. I can understand that in a situation like this there may be ....
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