Profession unites in its determination to oppose pension cuts

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Thousands of teachers, lecturers and support staff are today visiting Parliament to lobby their MPs about pension cuts in the education sector.

The unprecedented action is part of a joint campaign by seven leading education unions – ASCL, ATL, NAHT, NASUWT, NUT, UCU and UCAC– to protest about ministers’ unwillingness to enter into meaningful negotiations on pensions and the government’s refusal to carry out the legally-required and overdue valuation of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

Staff from the maintained, academy and independent sectors in England and Wales as well as from colleges and post-92 universities, will lobby their MPs and hand in petitions from their workplaces.

The general secretaries of the seven unions will present a petition to the Department for Education signed by 130,000 – and counting – school, college and university staff. Further details on where the presentation will be made will be available shortly. The petition states that the government’s proposals are unjustified and nothing more than a stealth tax on hard-working and dedicated staff.

Organisers of the campaign issued this statement: “It is abundantly clear today that the profession is united in its determination to oppose cuts to our pensions. Teachers, lecturers and support staff won’t stand idly by whilst the government tries to drive through changes that would be deeply damaging to staff recruitment, retention, mobility, morale and motivation and jeopardise the education of children, young people and other learners.

“The fact that over a 100,000 teachers and lecturers from around the country have signed the petition and thousands are giving up a day of their half-term holiday to come to London to lobby MPs, shows just how high feelings are running.

“This lobby and the large number of petitions returned should serve as a wake-up call to the government. If ministers don’t recognise that pensions are both affordable and sustainable, many teachers and lecturers will be left with no option but to take further action, including supporting the planned TUC day of action on 30 November.”


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