100 signatures reached
To: Trinity College Council and Fellows
Trinity College must not withdraw from USS
Trinity College must commit to reversing their decision to withdraw from USS.
Why is this important?
As staff and students in higher education, and in many cases members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), we condemn the decision of the Council of Trinity College, Cambridge, to withdraw from USS. USS is a mutual scheme with more than 400,000 members across the UK, and Trinity’s action undermines pension provision not only for its own employees but for staff across the pre-1992 Higher Education sector.
As Trinity itself has conceded, USS is in good health and the likelihood that endowment assets would ever need to be drawn on as a result of membership of the Scheme is minuscule. Moreover, we believe that Trinity’s Council and Fellows should recognise the dependence of the College’s own charitable objectives upon the infrastructure of education and research far beyond the College’s own bounds. Participation in a cross-sector pension scheme should be seen as a recognition of this relationship of mutual collaboration and support, and not merely as a regrettable liability on Trinity’s balance sheet.
Now is the time for all USS higher education institutions must stand together and oppose the continued intransigence of USS, and to collectively demand that our employer strengthens their own, currently lackluster response. We believe that Trinity has broken a relationship of trust by initiating withdrawal from USS, and so cannot expect the continued support of colleagues working at other institutions for its own activities.
We undertake that until Trinity publicly commits to reversing its decision to withdraw from USS, we will not take on any discretionary work associated with the College. Such contact includes (but is not limited to) delivering or participating in talks, seminars, or conferences at the College, assessing Fellowship applications, and taking on supervision, teaching, or external assessment roles at the College.
We welcome the initiation of greylisting procedures by the University and College Union (UCU) Congress (https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/10091/Higher-Education-Sector-Conference#L8), and we support calls for the instigation of a collective censure and academic boycott of Trinity College, Cambridge until the College publicly commits to reversing its decision to withdraw from USS. We pledge to abide by the terms of any such boycott.