EIS says ministers have not tabled formal proposal on teachers pensions, despite months of negotiations


Scottish teachers have warned the SNP government it faces new industrial action on pensions unless ministers table formal proposals on the future of the scheme.

(Pictured: EIS suspended strike action due for #M28 to allow negotiations to proceed)

The call from the EIS comes as a pensions negotiating meeting set for today was cancelled by ministers.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “It is time for the Scottish government to lay its cards on the table and bring forward concrete proposals to Scotland’s teaching profession on the future of their pension scheme.

“In March the EIS took the decision to hold back from further industrial action on pensions in order to enter into pension scheme discussions with the Scottish government.

“Having entered into these negotiations in good faith, teaching professionals have every right to expect a firm proposal from the Scottish government.

“However, after many months of talks, no offer has yet been made and no response given to the teacher side proposals to protect 65 as the normal age for retirement.

“Frankly, the patience of the teaching profession is becoming increasingly thin.

“Teachers also face the threat of imposed pension contribution increases which amount to little more than an additional tax to pay for the UK Government’s austerity programme.”

The growing impatience of the EIS and other public unions follows months of negotiations with SNP Finance Secretary John Swinney and others to try to prevent the increases in staff contributions and retirement age being imposed on workers north of the border.

Officials say it is ‘simply inconceivable’ that teachers should remain in charge of classes of more than 30 pupils until they are almost seventy.

Said Larry Flanagan: ˝ We see no point in returning to negotiations unless the Scottish government is prepared to engage with the process.

The message to John Swinney and [Scottish Education Secretary] Mike Russell is clear: stop stalling and produce a meaningful offer on pensions, or face a return to industrial action by Scotland’s teachers.”

In a ballot of EIS members before the 28 March strike was suspended, 74% backed industrial action over pensions.

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