Latest Public Sector News

28.03.12

Teachers strike against pension changes

Teachers and lecturers are staging a 24-hour strike today over pension reforms. The first stage of an increase in pension contributions comes into force next week.

Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and University and College Union (UCU) will march through centralLondonand hold a rally outside of the Education Department inWestminster.

The unions are opposing Government plans to increase contributions, raise the age of retirement and reduce the final payment in retirement. The Government has argued that reform is necessary in order to meet the demands of an ageing population.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: “UCU members are unlikely militants and would much rather be doing their jobs then taking strike action and losing a day’s pay.

“However, it is not fair for ordinary people to suffer huge cuts in their standards of living at a time when the Government is handing out huge tax give-aways to big business and high earners.”

NUT general secretary Christine Blower said: “Teachers cannot be expected to do anything other than defend the right to a pension which they have paid into in good faith, especially as the Government has shown no evidence that their pensions are either unsustainable or unaffordable.

“No teacher wants to be in this position. Pension increases are just an extra tax on teachers, when the top rate of tax is being cut. It is the Government’s intransigence and total disregard of the facts that has forced teachers to continue with this action.”

Image c. N Hall

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