Woodsy comes to Kingston

WOAAAHHHHHHH YES. Woodsy here, fresh back from a bangin Winter Olympics, the sickest thing I’ve ever done, even if I spent too much time on my double backside three-sixty. Ouch! So here I am in Kingston and I’m stoked! Top rider Spiersy has asked me to put down a ski-snowboarding department. MASSIVE. He says the kids are gonna love it! Come on Spiersy! He put down a great run in the TEF Olympics but only came back with bronze. Something to do with that half-arsed reverse one-eighty. Tragic.

So we got a great team lined up! There’s the Aussie Rhodesy who crashed out big in Sydney but is over here with his new triple salary ten (grand a month). It’s a HUGE trick. How do they do it??? OH MY GOODNESS ME! What happened there? A 25% drop in competitors in the Kingston degree slopestyle. ABSOLUTELY HUGE. This looks one event that’s gonna crash. I’m outta here.

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Verse from an HR fan

David Walsh of HR,
Corrupt like a pirate! Arr! Arr!
He breaks procedure and policy,
Like a giant toddler who goes pee pee,
All over your head.
Working for Kingston,
You’d wish you were dead.

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Snow money

Thoughtful of the University to put up information on its websites about the weather, even if it only tells us the weather is bad. Yep, we got that. And yet more thoughtful to offer a premium rate number so students can phone in to find out the latest. A nice little earner for KU. But we are at least told that calls are cheaper from a landline. Since most students only have mobiles, that is rubbing rock salt into their wounded bank accounts. Nice to know the University can extract just that little bit more cash from its students, and staff too, for anyone daft enough to call that number.

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Pension strike

Anyone watching the news yesterday will have seen the unusual sight of a substantial number of university lecturers on strike. The proposal to change the USS pension scheme from a decent one (despite the ravages of recent years) into a defined contribution scheme, subject to the exigencies of markets and the greedy attentions of incompetent fund managers, has finally galvanised academics to action. Fortunately, at least for the time being, Kingston’s scheme, the TPS, is not affected. One wonders how we might react to such an attack on our pensions given the willingness of so many KU staff to tolerate the behaviour of our aggressive management with little complaint. If the TPS were subject to such hostile proposals we could at least count on the school teachers, always more prepared to fight than lecturers, to resist.

The excuses for undermining university pensions are the usual neoliberal claptrap: too expensive and too generous. Which of course means that VCs and their management cronies want to cut staff incomes while increasing theirs as fast as they can. The notion of a pension deficit has been wheeled out many times since the financial crisis ten years ago. Low interest rates, instigated by the Bank of England to protect asset prices, as it has admitted, lead automatically to high deficits. Now that interest rates are beginning to rise, these deficits will gradually fall. Don’t expect the employers to take any notice of that. They won’t be content unless our pay continues to fall in real terms, and our deferred pay (pension) joins the worst examples in the private sector.

So for now be glad we are not in this position. But don’t count your chickens. Prepare to fight or go under.

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KU Clerihew 5

Nona McDuff
Decided she’d had enough
Of EDI: her boast to have closed the BME attainment gap
Turned out to be crap.

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Up the HR – being an occasional message from the new boss

Oi! You wiv the ’air on. Pay attenshun, oi’m talkin’ ter you.

Soimon ’ere, butchoo can call me The Guvner. Oi woz wanderin’ rahnd River ’ahse the ovver day when oi bumps inta the top man (though that’s really me naawadays).
Oi sez to him “Awight my son”, an’ he sez ‘Yeah good Simon, I’m good’ (’e talks a bit posh yer know). Then he goes “Now look here Simon, are you sure about all this management observation and extended probation? After all, you don’t have much education experience”, he sez in ’is posh voice.

So I goes “Leave it aht squire. Course I got bleedin’ edukashun experience, oi’ve bin ’ere moreana year ern oi. Anyways, them shower of teachin’ ponces ain’t gonna do fahk all. They always roll over.”

“Well, I suppose you know best Simon,” ’e sez. “Too bleedin’ roight oi do,” I sez, and ’e goes off on ’is way. Werl, on ’is salary ’e don’t give a shit.

Anyways, oi cant keep talkin’ to you rabble all dai. S’nearly lunchtime ain’t it. Time for a few Stellas dahn the booza.


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