Changes to pensions in contention

Unions: Teachers to strike in London after Easter

GMT 15:44 2012 Saturday ,17 March

Arab Today, arab today Unions: Teachers to strike in London after Easter

Teachers strike again over changes to pensions
London - Arabstoday

Teachers strike again over changes to pensions Both the NUT and University and College Union will take industrial action.Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said: “The Government is well aware that teachers do not accept the changes that they propose to make to our pensions.
"The vast majority of teaching unions have not signed up to the latest pension proposals which still mean that teachers will have to pay much more, work much longer and get much less in retirement.
"The NUT believes it is essential that the teaching profession stands united on this issue. Working and taking action together in June and November 2011 brought some concessions from Government, but they do not go far enough. We have no evidence whatsoever that teachers’ pensions are unaffordable.
"“We will be writing to the other teaching unions to look at the ways we can work together to defend the profession and our pensions, and will be discussing how to take the campaign forward at the NUT Annual Conference this Easter.”
Other unions representing workers in the NHS and civil service are also proposing to stage fresh industrial action over the deal, which forces members to work for longer and pay more.
Discussions on planned reforms of health, education and civil service pensions have continued since the start of the year in a bid to break the deadlock between ministers and unions. It sparked a strike by more than 1.5m public sector workers last year.
Cost ceilings set last November will remain unchanged, with no additional money made available, it was announced.
Primary legislation will be introduced as soon as possible to ensure the new deal is in place by 2015, although staff less than 10 years from their normal pension age on 1 April 2012 will not be affected by the changes.
But the decision is likely to prompt a fresh wave of industrial action.
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, said: "We will continue to talk to other unions about planning further widespread co-ordinated industrial action and there is as much reason as ever for our members to vote in our consultation ballot to reject these spiteful cuts."
Christina McAnea, head of health at Unison, the biggest public sector union, said: "It is critical that our members have the final say on these proposals and we will meet with our key health activists before moving to a ballot.”
But Mr Alexander said the outcome represented a “fair deal for public service workers and an affordable deal for the taxpayer".
"These agreements mean that public servants who have dedicated their lives to serving the public will rightly continue to receive pensions that are among the very best available, while delivering the Government's key objectives in full,” he said.

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