Taking a Bath

Dissenter’s Blog has not mentioned the dubious goings-on at other universities around the country for a while: too much happening at Kingston. Yet the corruption that is infecting us is infecting others too. An article in The Guardian by Aditya Chakrabortty attacks the obscene pay awards of vice-chancellors at Bath and Manchester (where 140 staff are going to be sacked) plus benefits normally associated with big plutocratic bosses who run major companies, sometimes into the ground.

The article points out the reason: the boards that govern the universities are populated with industry fat cats, well used to nodding through their own massive pay awards. Money for these riches comes from the staff (1% pay rises standard now) and the students through fees and high accommodation costs (remember the UCL rent strike?). Kingston’s governors are similarly drawn from business, with just a smattering of staff representatives. Looks like KU’s desire to be a big university has succeeded on that point.

Still, some good news. Bath’s cossetted VC resigned the same day the article was published. Well, sort of. Over a year’s salary to come, plus the car, and the super-plush Georgian house. The price of talent eh?

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Taking a Bath

  1. I couldn’t possibly comment!

    Yours disingenuously,

    Dave Makindosh.

  2. Jack Dawson says:

    With the SMT’s slash-and-burn Plan2020 continuing, I’d like to pass on some advice to any staff who may be made redundant in future.

    1) When it makes you redundant, the university may seek to disregard your notice period and pay you payment in lieu of notice (PILON). Unless your contract contains a PILON clause, this amounts to a breach of contract, and the PILON you receive therefore technically counts as damages. It should therefore be tax-free up to £30,000. In these circumstances, DO NOT accept a redundancy package in which the tax-free portion is less than £30,000.

    2) Your redundancy pay is calculated according to your years of service. If KU makes you redundant by breaching your contract and paying you PILON, this will shorten your actual years of service, and the university will use this as an excuse to reduce your redundancy pay by one year accordingly.

    2) When you leave the university, you are entitled to reimbursement for unused annual leave. The university may try to reduce your unused annual leave by deducting from them the working days between Christmas and the New Year, on the grounds that you are automatically on leave during these days, unless you have specifically requested not to be. It is therefore sensible to seek permission from your head of department to work the days between Christmas and the New Year. The university won’t impose any duties on you during those days and you can use them to do research or for whatever you want, but you will then avoid having them deducted from your annual leave. Which will make a difference of several hundred pounds in your severance payment.

    • B Leaguered says:

      Also beware the gagging clauses. Like the bullies they are, the SMT are trying to silence staff when they are pushed out through severance.

  3. Muck Raker says:

    Speaking of over-paid and cossetted bosses, word reaches Muck Raker that Simon Morgan Wortham, Plan 2020’s chief errand boy and hatchet man, has held an emergency meeting with arts and humanities staff in FASS, who now have to labour under the tediously pretentious title ‘ArCC’ (a label dreamt up by the mis-managers). The useless Dean/pro-VC blamed staff at the meeting for low student application figures and announced he now wants volunteers to fall on their sword – the threat being that if he does not get some by New Year, he will start chopping some anyway. He apparently said he would like to thank staff for their ‘continued professionalism’ in the matter. You could not make it up. Yes, this is the same mis-manager who, just 6 months ago, sent out a message saying he was ‘confident’ about the ‘tremendous promise that the new School offers’. There was no mention of this latest cut in Plan 2020 and it sums up what a complete mess the Demented Dean continues to make of everything he touches. One of the first ‘volunteers’ to go ought to be Wortham himself – that would save a ton of money for the Uni. Another thing that should go is his personal hobby horse and embarrassingly useless ‘London Graduate School’, of which Wortham is co-director and which has gobbled up a stack of Uni money. The other co-director (still listed as such) was former FASS Dean Martin McQuillan, master embezzler until he was found out. How many completed Doctoral Research students has London Graduate School achieved? Just 3. How many has it got on its books currently? A pathetic 7. How’s that for low numbers?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *