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    (Original post by SarcAndSpark)
    Arguably, if you're a first year student, especially in STEM, you could be affected by a loss of academics if they go chasing higher pay in industry once they have lost their pension benefits. I am not sure how many people would actually do this short term, but it's definitely a possibility.
    The solution isn't to prop up the pension benefits of people who are earning well above their field, then.

    Most universities operate on a so-called "equal pay for equal work" principle in that they give the lecturers the same wages irrespective of their field, unless they are a guest lecturer or a 'star' who the university wants to grab for the reputation.

    STEM lecturers wouldn't be leaving if they wouldn't have to make such a huge salary sacrifice in order to work at at a university instead of the public sector.

    Yes, engineering, medicinal and economics lecturers will be taking a massive pay cut in order to work at a university. They have a clear incentive to leave if their pensions are cut, because that's the only retention factor.

    Some courses such as law, marketing etc. are paid fairly equal to the market rate.

    Other courses such as arts, psychology and languages are paid multiples above the private sector. Gaining employment at a university is creme de la creme because you won't find a higher paid job elsewhere.

    In other words, lecturers from courses in higher market demand are subsidising the lecturers with lower market demand.

    A very quick job search on jobs.ac.uk reveals that King's College London is looking for the following job titles:
    "Lecturer in Economics" (£33,518 starter)
    "Lecturer in African Literature" (£33,518 starter)
    "Lecturer in Medieval Literature" (£33,518 starter)

    Please tell me with a straight face that these two courses are legitimately of the same societal or economic value, or generate the same revenue in tuition fees for the university.

    Lecturers in STEM should be angry that the university is overpaying non-STEM lecturers and underpaying them, instead of being angry at the universities for having to cut spending in order to finance burgeoning pension benefits.

    A pension scheme for person A teaching Economics who had 300 students will be paid the same both pre and post retirement as a person B teaching African Literature who had 20 students. This is inefficient.


    (Original post by SarcAndSpark)
    UCU disputes the valuation that says there is such a large deficit in the pension scheme
    They need to take that up with the auditors of the pension scheme then, not the scheme operators.

    That was the professional judgement of the auditors who thoroughly investigated the scheme top to bottom, after the actuaries opined that this was indeed the deficit.

    I doubt UCU has more clout and knowledge than actuaries who plan pension schemes 5 days a week, or auditors who are held to high ethical standards to form an accurate opinion.

    Seems more like an emotional argument.

    (Original post by SarcAndSpark)
    Having good quality academic staff helps universities. If they need to make savings, why not make cuts to VC and senior management salaries (often over £100,000) first?
    King's College London Vice Chancellor salary: £350 000
    King's College London staff numbers (FTE): 6 590
    Bonus to all members of staff upon sacking the Vice Chancellor (Salary/Staff): £53.

    Okay, I hope they enjoy their Christmas jeans present then.

    I mean, you can sack the entire senior management and executive board in all universities in the USS scheme and you'd still need major cuts because the sackings and subsequent redirection of all funds fully and only back to the pension scheme would not really make a dent in the pension deficit.
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    (Original post by hannah00)
    . Its completely unrealistic to extent DB pensions in the modern age.

    Literally no private sector still has them, and it would mean with an aging population, universities would spend a greater percentage of their income paying inflation protected pensions.
    .

    This is the harsh stone reality of it. Defined benefit pensions are one of the biggest economic disasters of all time - there's a £6bn deficit in the university lecturers pension fund - who will foot this bill?

    And this is happeneing across the economy. They're not alone in their outrage. But it's economics. And big losses have to be stemmed. For everyones sake.
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    It's unsustainable for the government. The system was made where instead of the government directly funding universities, they would loan the money to students, the students would pay it back, so it's of no real cost to the government, the money isn't real. Universities lose direct funding and the system becomes a market. Markets are supposed to have winners and losers in order to function but I've not seen or heard of many universities closing since they flooded the market with former polytechnics. The system doesn't work.
    So your explanation of why the system doesn't work and why it's unsustainable for government is that not enough universities have closed/gone bankrupt?
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    (Original post by Fusion)
    This is the harsh stone reality of it. Defined benefit pensions are one of the biggest economic disasters of all time - there's a £6bn deficit in the university lecturers pension fund - who will foot this bill?

    And this is happeneing across the economy. They're not alone in their outrage. But it's economics. And losses have to be stemmed. For everyones stake.
    exactly. There have been studies that prove one of the reasons millennials are paid less, is companies are spending more on pensions for retired employees.

    It also makes any potential sale of a troubled company far more complicated, increases the chance of everyone losing their job and tax payer bailing out that companies retired employees via PPF fund.
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    My uni's philosophy department has done a fun thing where they've asked lecturers and tutors to tell students when their classes aren't cancelled, working around the silly union rules where the lecturers don't bother telling you. Saying that my tutor told us anyway that his seminar was cancelled so bleh.

    Anyhoo I'm definitely affected but I have the advantage of actually knowing what is and isn't cancelled, which is nice. No rescheduling by the sounds of things though, which is kind of annoying.
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    Check who the UCU actually represent
    The strike is about the USS pension scheme. All university staff above a certain grade are in the USS scheme, regardless of whether they are academics or professional services staff.
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    (Original post by hannah00)
    exactly. There have been studies that prove one of the reasons millennials are paid less, is companies are spending more on pensions for retired employees.

    It also makes any potential sale of a troubled company far more complicated, increases the chance of everyone losing their job and tax payer bailing out that companies retired employees via PPF fund.
    Younger people seem unware of the injustices of it all. All these FTSE companies have massive deficits in their db pension funds, at BT alone it's around £14 billion. That's money that won't provide any return to the company. Nor will it be used to invest in new recruits or staff training or infrastructure.
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    (Original post by LostAccount)
    So your explanation of why the system doesn't work and why it's unsustainable for government is that not enough universities have closed/gone bankrupt?
    That's how a market is supposed to work. I'm not saying I agree with marketisation. I'm just saying that markets always have winners and losers, and the losers go out of business. And that hasn't happened.
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    (Original post by Fusion)
    Younger people seem unware of the injustices of it all. All these FTSE companies have massive deficits in their db pension funds, at BT alone it's around £14 billion. That's money that won't provide any return to the company. Nor will it be used to invest in new recruits or staff training or infrastructure.
    DB Pension components increase ranging from RPI to 8%(Post 88 GMP) a minimum each year, when yields on gilts are close to 1% and interest rates are 0.5%.

    Who is suppose to pay the 7% difference ?.

    Far more sensible for pension payments to linked to actual economic fundamentals of how your investment performs, than some formula devised in 20 years ago.
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    They can tell you which classes ate cancelled, they are choosing not to.
    Staff taking industrial action can be asked to indicate if they are going to be absent, but they can choose not to give advance notice. If they want their absence to be recorded in 'number of staff striking' figures, then they do have to report that they were absent on strike after the event.

    So Faculties and Departments can't tell students in advance which classes are cancelled.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    The strike is about the USS pension scheme. All university staff above a certain grade are in the USS scheme, regardless of whether they are academics or professional services staff.
    MagicalMedic, here is more of your answer.
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    i have a grand total of 0 lectures called off. It sucks because i didn't get a reading week either.
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    (Original post by LostAccount)
    "Lecturer in Economics" (£33,518 starter)
    "Lecturer in African Literature" (£33,518 starter)
    "Lecturer in Medieval Literature" (£33,518 starter)

    Please tell me with a straight face that these two courses are legitimately of the same societal or economic value, or generate the same revenue in tuition fees for the university.
    Ngl i have no issue with them getting the same wages. The situation outside of uni should have nothing to do with it. It should be the quality of the lecturer and their reputation/quality of published work in their field.


    If you want revenue brought by tuition fees to be a factor, you'd have to rank courses by the amount of undergrads they accept. That's not exactly the same as demand for a uni place.

    Idk what courses have the most people. But it definitely isn't Engineering or Maths/economics at most unis. Ironically, way more undergrads are humanity students.. which goes against your post

    also before anyone calls me a biased, I'm doing Engineering lol.
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    That's how a market is supposed to work. I'm not saying I agree with marketisation. I'm just saying that markets always have winners and losers, and the losers go out of business. And that hasn't happened.
    Markets work on an equilibrium.

    By your theory, we should be seeing at least one major bank fail per year because there's simply too many to choose from.
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    (Original post by LostAccount)
    Markets work on an equilibrium.

    By your theory, we should be seeing at least one major bank fail per year because there's simply too many to choose from.
    :toofunny: Good one.:yy:

    I made no comments on banks. Banks and universities work quite differently.
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    (Original post by lucabrasi98)
    Ngl i have no issue with them getting the same wages. The situation outside of uni should have nothing to do with it.
    Ah yes, let's just employ Emma Watson to be the Senior Lecturer on History of Magic for 75 000 a year with her two students.

    Nothing screams 'efficiency' and 'value for money' as people being given money like water out of the tap for teaching 3 kids on bursaries ballet dancing.

    You know what, I don't personally care.

    However, my empathy on this issue with the lecturers varies with how lecturers perceive their kin, and if the majority of them do actually believe that every course from Women's Studies and History of the Spade should be paid the same as Neuroscience and Computer Science, then frankly I won't even shed a sigh for their loss of pensions. They're not fit to work in a system where rationality is (supposed to be) a requirement.

    Those who have a brain will go to the private sector, and chances are anyone who does have the above-mentioned mindset of "EQUALITY FOR ALL!" will not bother going to the private sector and will stay in academia irrespective of how much they lose in pensions, so cutting pensions will make no difference to staffing numbers.

    Cutting away excess wages from the less demanding industries will not only allow the university to be more competitive in the market for STEM lecturers (and other higher demanding industries), and attracting higher quality lecturers, but also likely still be able to pay higher wages for things like creative industries and psychology than the market rate, hence still maintaining an aura of 'fairness' or 'living wage' or call it what you want.

    A newly employed lecturer in medicine and finance will be earning less than a graduate 6 months after graduation.
    A newly employed lecturer in creative industries will be earning more than an average person 30 years into their career.
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    :toofunny: Good one.:yy:

    I made no comments on banks. Banks and universities work quite differently.
    You haven't made a rational comment at all, so I'm just mocking at this point.

    Funnily enough as your view of successful markets is the failure of underperforming institutions, then I trust I have your backing on the issue that a successful market will see USS fail and pensions cut as they're underperforming, so we're both on the same side, and thus there's nothing to discuss.
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    (Original post by LostAccount)
    Ah yes, let's just employ Emma Watson to be the Senior Lecturer on History of Magic for 75 000 a year with her two students.

    Nothing screams 'efficiency' and 'value for money' as people being given money like water out of the tap for teaching 3 kids on bursaries ballet dancing.

    You know what, I don't personally care.

    Those who have a brain will go to the private sector, and chances are anyone who does have the above-mentioned mindset of "EQUALITY FOR ALL!" will not bother going to the private sector and will stay in academia irrespective of how much they lose in pensions, so cutting pensions will make no difference to staffing numbers.
    Error 409: No vinegar with all that salt :hand:
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    (Original post by LostAccount)
    You haven't made a rational comment at all, so I'm just mocking at this point.

    Funnily enough as your view of successful markets is the failure of underperforming institutions, then I trust I have your backing on the issue that a successful market will see USS fail and pensions cut as they're underperforming, so we're both on the same side, and thus there's nothing to discuss.
    If you believe education markets work on an equilibrium then I don't see the need to make any further effort since you're not going to appreciate my point of view.
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    Error 409: No vinegar with all that salt :hand:
    You're as edgy as a butter knife.
 
 
 

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