Heriot-Watt University must call for changes at USS to resolve the pension dispute

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We the undersigned believe that staff working at Heriot-Watt University deserve a fair pension in retirement, paid for at a reasonable cost during their working lives.

The current situation with escalating costs of contributions based on disputed valuation technique is harmful to staff, HWU the employer, and to all who value Heriot-Watt University.

The USS members' representatives, UCU, Heriot-Watt University, and the HE employers' representatives, Universities UK, supported the findings of the Joint Expert Panel, created to examine the scheme. Despite this, USS have resisted implementing the changes suggested in the report. If fully implemented these changes would save the University money whilst keeping benefits for staff the same.

There cannot be a satisfactory resolution to the USS pension dispute while Bill Galvin, Chief Executive of USS pension scheme and Sir David Eastwood, Chair of the USS Trustees remain in position. Under their tenure the scheme has been rebuked by the Pensions Regulator. They are obstructing any significant change in valuation method despite the evidence in the Joint Expert Panel report and elsewhere that a thorough reconsideration is required.

Given their role in resisting the implementation of the first report of the JEP we do not believe that they will follow the recommendations of the second report when it is published nor do we believe that they are the right people to protect the best interests of the scheme and its members.

We therefore petition that the (Acting) Principal, the Director of Finance and the University Executive must call, publicly, for the resignation of Bill Galvin and Sir David Eastwood.