Members of the NASUWT and NUT vote for more action over pensions, pay and working conditions (Pictured: M28 strike in London)


Teachers are to step up industrial action in a move that could see co-ordinated strike action with other unions.

(Pictured: NUT members march towards Trafalgar Square during 28th March strike in London)

NUT members voted to reject the government’s proposed final agreement on pensions while NASUWT members voted to escalate action over attacks on teachers’ pay, pensions and working conditions, excessive workload and job losses.

NUT general secretary Christine Blower said: “We condemn the government’s attacks on the pensions of teachers and public sector workers and its broader attacks on our living standards. The government’s proposals will lead to teachers paying more, working longer and getting less in retirement.

“Our members face increased contributions this month and the prospect of a pension age that could well rise to 70 for our youngest members.

“The government still refuses to undertake the 2008 valuation of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. The Hutton Report shows that the cost of public sector pensions will fall from 2 per cent of GDP now to 1.4 per cent by 2060. Teachers’ pensions are being cut because of political ideology rather than affordability.

“The NUT believes in fair pensions for all with a decent state pension and good quality occupational pensions in both the private and public sectors. The recession has been used by private sector employers and the government to attack occupational pensions. We will not allow teachers, other workers or pensioners to have their pensions slashed to pay for an economic crisis they did not create.

“Our campaign has been built on the strength of our membership, who have played a magnificent role in defending teachers’ pensions and fair pensions for all, particularly through the national strikes on 30 June and 30 November and the London strike of 28 March.

“The NUT Executive will maintain our principled and determined campaign to secure decent pensions for teachers, and fair pensions for all.”

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said:  “The NASUWT has been in continuous action short of strike since December 2011 in an attempt to get the Government to focus on the real concerns of the profession and realise the effect their attacks are having, not just on teachers and their ability to do their job, but also on children and young people.

“The first phase of the Standing up for Standards industrial action campaign has secured real gains for NASUWT members, however teachers are continuing to see an assault on their pay, working conditions, pensions, professional status and on the curriculum they teach.

“Teachers do not feel there is any area of their working lives the Government has not trampled over and it is impairing their ability to focus on raising standards for pupils.

“If the Government commits to engaging constructively with the NASUWT there should be no need to move to further industrial action but we have reached a point where we feel we have no choice but to take steps to defend teacher professionalism from these attacks.”

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