Here’s something we suspect will not be mentioned at any University Open Days or be put in press releases sent out by the Uni’s Comms team. But (big drum roll here) Kingston’s self-annointed ‘Gold Commander’, Admiral Steven ‘Two Jobs’ Spier, can now boast of another world-beating achievement: the University has joined the PEF.
What’s the PEF? You have heard of the REF, TEF and KEF. Now your employer has added a new category to the University’s C.V., although Spiersy will not refer to it in his latest VLOG. Staff union UCU have announced nationally that Kingston has joined the Punitive Employer Framework (PEF). This is a list of Universities that are threatening 100% deduction in pay if any of their staff support the UCU campaign for a marking boycott.
The list (currently) is: Sheffield; University of Leeds: QMUL; Cardiff University; Ulster; UAL; University of Brighton; SOAS and – now – Kingston.
Not only are UCU members in the firing line: non-UCU staff who refuse to mark other colleagues’ work who are participating in the boycott will also be penalised by their line-managers and Deans, even if it’s just one single essay (yes, you read that correctly). It is a classic punitive divide-and-rule tactic, designed to make non-UCU staff turn against their UCU-membered colleagues. It comes straight out of all the grubby Guides to Bad Management so lovingly adored by the latest generation of spineless technocrats who have now hijacked the top managerial levels at many of the post-92 HEIs, including Kingston.
Spiersy’s hardening of tactics should come as no surprise. Ever since he became VC he has refused to deal directly with UCU, regarding them as a pain in his greasy backside, and as a potential road block on his vision to convert the University into no more than a glorified technical college. As Dissenter revealed in a previous blog, Vice-Admiral Spier recently told his admin staff that UCU’s ‘action short of a strike’ policy was ‘damaging to’ Kingston’s public relations (which conveniently ignores all the damage he clearly has done himself). Dissenter also noted how Spiersy gleefully boasted to the local Council’s new Chief Executive, Andreas Kirsch, that UCU staff picketing at PR and KP campuses were ‘small’ in number.
Dissenter has been informed that the ever-miserable VC has also been in secret close discussion with some other VCs, and two zoom meetings have been held in recent weeks to coordinate a common strategy over the UCU marking boycott. Well, well.
Another influence on Spiersy has been his new HR director, Emma Bunton, who was appointed in 2020. Boynton came from Kensington and Chelsea Council, where she developed an unpleasant reputation among her workforce and boasted she had ’embedded new behaviours’ there. Boynton has apparently been egging Spiersy on to take a more hardline stance towards UCU at Kingston (it is worth noting that her confrontational style was also one of the things that impressed the VC when the former Spice Girl was interviewed for the KU HR job).
It gets worse. Another member of the SLT (Senile Leadership Team) has also, according to our sources, been urging Spiersy to ‘break’ UCU. We won’t name the individual concerned (we are saving that juicy bit of info for a rainy day) but the (male) SLTer has a remarkably stupid habit of making mobile phone calls around the back of Holmewood House, where he thinks he’s out of earshot of the admin office. Whoops. What’s even more pathetic is that the individual concerned has also slagged off Spiersy in the past, but in recent SLT meetings has gone all out to massage the VC’s ego and criticise UCU.
As Admiral-Commander ‘tinpot’ Spiersy pilots the S.S. Kingston further on to the rocks, squinting desperately through his contact lenses, he’s obviously persuaded himself that Uni staff are solely to blame for everything, especially those tiresome UCU members. While he lashes out with a new round of punitive measures against UCU, he remains completely unable to face up to the fact that his own pisspoor VC-ship is the real problem. His BOG knows it. His SLT also know it. Many Uni staff have known it all along, including those who once had the misfortune to suffer him as Dean of KSA.
He continues to bore everybody senseless about his pet ‘Future Skills’ campaign, but the overpaid Professor Dimwit simply cannot see he has zero skills himself. He should place himself under PEF, and forgo a few of those nice top-class hotel stays he is so fond of.