EIS union is urging members to ‘continue strong opposition’ to government’s “work longer, pay more, get less” formula on pensions


The EIS teachers’ union in Scotland is to consult its members on taking strike action alongside other education unions on 28th March as part on the ongoing joint union campaign to protect public sector pensions.

It will issue ballot papers to members next week, urging them to continue strong opposition to Government plans which would make teachers work longer, pay more and get less for their pensions.

Announcing the launch of the consultative ballot, EIS general secretary Ronnie Smith said: “Although the Westminster Government has made minor changes to its proposals following the national day of action on 30 November, it is clear that the great majority of teachers do not accept the Government’s plans for their pensions.

“That is why the EIS, together with a number of like-minded public sector unions, is contemplating further strike action, commencing on 28 March 2012.”

It is expected that the EIS Executive Committee will meet on 15 March to receive the result of the consultative ballot and decide on their next steps.

The announcement coincided with a government-imposed deadline yesterday (20th February) for all talks to be completed on the Treasury’s contested Heads of Agreement framework for cuts to public sector pensions.

However, the SNP government in Edinburgh has given no indication when it intends to start negotiations over the future of pensions either for teachers or local government workers north of the border.

Ronnie Smith added: “While the Westminster Government has at least made its intentions clear, teachers in Scotland have heard nothing from the Scottish Government on its plans for their pensions.

“Their only action to date has been to copy the Westminster Government’s imposition of increases in contribution rates from 1 April 2012.  Unless the Scottish Government urgently engages in meaningful discussion with unions, the risk is that we will simply have to swallow whatever is dished up by the Westminster by way of pensions reform. Scottish teachers deserve, and expect, better.”

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