Socialist Worker

Teachers to join TUC talks over pensions action

by Nick Grant, NUT national executive committee (pc)
Issue No. 2236

The National Union of Teachers is seeking the earliest possible timetable for co-ordinated industrial action to defend pensions.

The union’s national executive held detailed discussions last week. Its officers will attend a joint unions meeting at the TUC on Friday.

The UCU and PCS unions have already declared their readiness to ballot.

An emergency NUT national executive meeting has been called for 10 February to receive news of progress.

The executive is unanimously committed to the need for industrial action to prevent all teachers having to pay more every month, and work much longer to receive less in eventual pay-outs.

It also believes that this struggle will be a long one, getting more bitter as inflation and the two-year pay freeze bite.

The union is organising regional rallies and putting leaflets, posters and other materials into staff rooms.

This attack has nothing to do with the government’s public spending austerity measures.

The current Teachers Pension Scheme (TPS) is not short of funds. It is intrinsically affordable. The higher contributions are in fact a new tax on teachers. They will also mean too much money is going into the scheme!

This is a simple class attack on the very existence of a decent public sector, final-salary pension scheme.

Stories from school meetings show that NUT members realise that a few days pay lost through strikes is negligible to the probable loss of thousands of pounds over the length of a diminished pension in retirement.

It is vital now that teachers in all schools meet up in joint-union meetings to confirm their readiness to fight on pensions.

Though they kick in from April 2012 the simple regulatory changes which allow them could be cut and dried by the end of the summer’s parliamentary session.

We need to build a head of steam that will secure a big ballot result when it is announced. Get your kettles on!

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Article information

Tue 25 Jan 2011, 18:35 GMT
Issue No. 2236
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