21 Sep

Back Molars out

The two back molars that have been such a problem this year, for which I have had diagnoses from ‘grinding’, to ‘gum disease’ via ‘that impacted wisdom tooth looks suspicious’, are gone! After a summer of emergency visits to dentists, usually ending with ‘here’s some penicillin, when you get home, get them teeth out’.. they’re out.

I went with sedation, my needlephobia really doesn’t sit well with lots of needles and dentistry, so when a very kind dentist at Higgins & Winter agreed to come in on his morning off and extract them under sedation I dropped all other options and in I went with Ann as chaperone.

Went well, feeling so much better after all that.. now to decide if these are my new dentists, or should I find a practice closer than Ponteland.


17 Sep

USS, what happened with the pensions after the strike? #USS #UUK

There was a strike, the employers backed down, a lot of the VCs were sympathetic, a Joint Evaluation Panel was setup, they just reported**:

There is a lot of pre-amble.. but the TL;DR that the JEP panel has adjudged the required contribution to be 29.2% to fund current benefits (minus the 1% match).  Thus 3.2% extra compared to now, but 7.4% less than the USS proposal for 2020*.

However this is not binding, and UUK are still trying to push through the very large increases to pensions, hence the site consultations and online consultation.

If you are going to one of the site consultations, you may want to read the report and ask some questions:

This is a very clearly written overview and a good place to start: https://twitter.com/cupofassam/status/1040555604442591232

It would be good to respond to the online USS consultation, and say what you think.. I shall say I like the JEP recommendations, since they’ll cost me no more than 1%..


[* This compares to the current rate of 26% (18% of salary paid by employers, 8% by employees) and the rate of 36.6% from April 2020 which is proposed by USS, based on the valuation as it stands.]

[** Here is the link to the report: http://www.ussjep.org.uk/files/2018/09/report-of-the-joint-expert-panel.pdf It is over 100 pages, but the summary at the beginning is very helpful.]