CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Debate!

Do we need a UCU strike thread?

(99 posts)

No tags yet.


  1. SRD
    Moderator

    Possibly too niche...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. chdot
    Admin

    Possibly more than niche.

    Are they active travel advocates?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. SRD
    Moderator

    Edinburgh uni just started a cycle forum. I recognised quite a lot of user names...

    Can’t speak for the union, but there is a definite correlation between my friends/ colleagues at other unis who are keen cyclists and ardent unionists (not that sort).

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. jdanielp
    Member

    I cycled to and from the picket line at the entrance to Heriot-Watt during the strike in early 2018 (apart from the worst of the Beast from the East; now I have a plus-tyred MTB for such conditions!) and plan to do so again.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. piosad
    Member

    see you on the barricades comrades

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. NiallA
    Member

    Does seem a bit niche, really, although maybe UCU would appreciate the formation of a team of bike-mobilised flying pickets. ;-)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    You should stage a CCE version of this;

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. SRD
    Moderator

    strike days announced Monday 25 November to Wednesday 4 December

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. Baldcyclist
    Member

    I'd not realised there were strikes looming.

    The increase in pension contributions is a bummer, essentially killed any pay rise the last 2 years. But tbh pensions are essentially pyramid schemes, and either we pay more, take less or kill people off younger to pay for them.

    I did see one story which said people were burnt out and leaving the sector, I've never been sure how more money fixes being burnt out, more people fixes that...

    I've never really been militant so will politely say morning to folks as I cross the picket.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    tbh pensions are essentially pyramid schemes

    Which of the myriad pension schemes do you have in mind? And who is at the top pf the pyramid?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. Baldcyclist
    Member

    We use USS.

    "And who is at the top pf the pyramid"

    The people currently getting the benefit.

    Everyone pays into the scheme paying those who are currently collectiing their pensions in the hope there will still be people paying into the pot by the time they retire.

    People were conned into beleiving they could pay 6% of their salary into a pot for 40 years, then get 50% of their *final* salary back for the next 30 years, + a huge lump sum to boot.

    Problem is people stopped dying.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. crowriver
    Member

    "Problem is people stopped dying."

    No, they just started taking a bit longer thinking about it before dying.

    Pensions are deferred wages that have been put into an investment fund. So mostly income that has already been earned, plus some unearned investment income on the wages that were set aside to be invested.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. SRD
    Moderator

    "I've never really been militant so will politely say morning to folks as I cross the picket."

    and say 'thank you' when your salary goes up?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. Baldcyclist
    Member

    "and say 'thank you' when your salary goes up?"

    It hasn't in 12 years or so, and when you add inflation I'm considerably worse off than then.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. SRD
    Moderator

    the big rise 12 years ago was thanks to strike action that i and others here took.

    i won't wait for any thanks then.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. Baldcyclist
    Member

    Don't have any gripes against those that want to strike, but I can't. I need to make sure the services we provide are still running and students are unafected as best I can. We'll be busier for sure but we'll cope, and students shouldn't see any impact (in my area).

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. jdanielp
    Member

    The increase in pension contributions is a bummer, essentially killed any pay rise the last 2 years.

    Those pay rises were higher than they would have been without the unions negotiating on pay on your behalf.

    It hasn't in 12 years or so, and when you add inflation I'm considerably worse off than then.

    Yes, the pay rises have been below inflation, but there have been pay rises as you had acknowledged previously.

    I need to make sure the services we provide are still running and students are unafected as best I can.

    Why do *you* need to do that? I can understand that some people can't stike because they can't afford to lose pay.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. Baldcyclist
    Member

    "Why do *you* need to do that? I can understand that some people can't stike because they can't afford to lose pay."

    Because it's my role.

    To be fair I've never considered the financial implications of being on strike because I'd never withold my labour.

    Again I've no problem with those who feel they need to.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. SRD
    Moderator

    your choice not to strike; personally I'm not comfortable free-riding on my colleagues' sacrifices.

    if student services weren't running, then maybe our strike time (and lost pay) would be less. that's the logic of collective action.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. SRD
    Moderator

    @baldcyclist - but i take it you don't mind benefitting from others withholding their labour?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. jdanielp
    Member

    To be fair I've never considered the financial implications of being on strike because I'd never withold my labour.

    But you have considered the financial implications of not receiving meaningful pay rises for the last twelve years?

    Would you never withhold labour because you're entirely happy with the pay and working conditions you're offered?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. Murun Buchstansangur
    Member

    "Pensions are deferred wages that have been put into an investment fund. So mostly income that has already been earned, plus some unearned investment income on the wages that were set aside to be invested."

    You've described a defined contribution pension scheme there very well. For a defined benefit scheme like USS, where the predicted cost of what has been promised to members in the future may differ significantly from what has currently been contributed and is forecast to be contributed in the future by members, not so much.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. Baldcyclist
    Member

    It's actually 30 years this year I've been here (and if you know me, yes I know I don't look old enough), it's only been in the last 12 years the pay rises have been especially poor, as they have been for everyone in every sector, but especially for us in public service due to austerity.

    I've probably got 20 years more service left, and I don't imagine any of them will be on strike either.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. crowriver
    Member

    @Murun Buchstansangur, we both forgot to mention employer's contributions go into the pension pot too.

    Traditionally, one of the trade-offs of working in academia was that, despite the relatively modest salary, the pension was pretty good. This used to be true of most public sector jobs more widely. In recent decades, the universities have attempted to respond to a changing public funding settlement by reducing the pensions of academics: firstly from a final salary scheme, to a defined benefits scheme; and more recently they tried to move to a defined contributions scheme (while increasing employees' pension contributions). That was resisted by unions and staff, and quite rightly.

    In a nutshell the dispute over USS pensions is because the employers are trying to save money by not contributing so much, thus forcing employees to pay more.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. gembo
    Member

    Excellent discussion of the benefits of collective action.

    My union was unable to prevent a 50% hike in employee contributions to pension but they have negotiated good pay rises. People who are not in the union also benefit from these rises. As an old Trot I find this unacceptable but people sure do have different perspectives. You do find staff trying to take leave on strike days to avoid the issue of crossing the picket line etc.

    University unions have hardly been militant over the years so it is interesting to watch from a distance.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. Baldcyclist
    Member

    I was I a union once, our dept was being closed, and people lost their jobs.

    The union rep came and told us how he would get us a great redundancy package, much better than the base package. He never once spoke of trying to save jobs the twice he came.

    We all concluded he was a waste of time and went into self preservation mode, some of us made it into other roles, the rest got their deals and were paid off.

    The union didn't try to save a single job.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. unhurt
    Member

    Never entirely clear on the logic that industrial action is only acceptable if it doesn't have any effect on anyone except the strikee*. What... what would the point even be if that were the case?

    *see also: any form of protest

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. Frenchy
    Member

    I for one am delighted to have colleagues who are willing to withhold their labour for our collective benefit.

    See you on the picket lines.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. toomanybikes
    Member

    I'd rather it was a defined contribution (DC) scheme. The payment percentages changes would then be beneficial and we'd have the ability to direct the investment away from fossil fuels which USS refuse to do. I truly hate knowing I own shares in Shell and BP.

    Obviously UCU won't want that because it hurts the already retired (it is a little like a pyramid scheme, no new recruits makes the fund much more likely to topple), and makes it harder to negotiate in the future (universities would never be putting 24% of salary extra into it if it had always been DC.)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. Roibeard
    Member

    I'm not sure the pyramid scheme epithet is appropriate.

    Is the welfare state a pyramid scheme? The current workers pay for the retired in a social contract, not a scam.

    Although I think the USS also has significant capital reserves, so the workers are more than paying for the retired, so there are investment returns on top.

    <wanders off to check accounts>

    Yep, Contributions = £2,279m, Benefits = £2,078m. Plus return on investments on top of that, increasing assets to £68,456m (6% increase).

    Robert

    Posted 1 year ago #

RSS feed for this topic

Reply »

You must log in to post.


Video embedded using Easy Video Embed plugin