Is your University planning to hive you off?

The number of Universities planning to hive off services to so called Special Purpose Vehicles is growing by the day.

Our members at University of Sheffield know only too well what happens when pension arrangements are cut. Our members suffered the loss of final salary pension only to have a very inferior “cash balance” scheme applied. The same type of pension reduction is being attempted at Aberystwyth University. But that is only part of the problem. Once pension liability is reduced then jobs become more manageable and in some cases they are hived off into SPV’s Special Utility Vehicles.

SPV’s? No they are to a type of car but they are a type of people carrier. Carrying them to lower paid and less pensionable jobs.

As those running our top Universities forget what the real purpose of a higher education institution is (to educate people?) they increasingly act as corporate executives moving money, businesses and selling off or creating subsidiaries.

Unite has put together a few examples that might interest you. Especially the University of Manchester simple guide to creating an SPV and as they freely admit in the document it is to get round those pesky unions who want to protect people’s pay.

At Sheffield University management was appalled when I leaked their business plan to the Times Higher. Management’s don’t like the eyes of the world on their financial manipulative practices.

The VC at London Met says in a Guardian article SPV’s are not the same as outsourcing. Tell that to the poor sods who are SPV’d with less pay, less pension and less job security.

Please give the web links a wide circulation. Please let me know of any examples in your HEI. I promise to let the Times Higher know.

If you thought you were working for an old established pillar of UK academia, think again. You probably will shortly be working for the service arm of a financial institution that wants to squeeze even more money out of your efforts.

It is only a matter of time before a UK University gets taken over by a stock market entity. Your job however could soon be off loaded to Trotters Trading, a subsidiary of Global Leasing University Management (GLUM). You have been warned!

Yours sincerely
Mike Robinson
National Officer Education


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