Thursday, November 11, 2010

Teachers’ pensions are under attack. But the NUT is going to fight to defend them.

The November NUT Executive agreed unanimously that we prepare a campaigning timetable building up to a ballot for strike action in the spring term.

The Government are trying to claim that our existing pensions’ scheme is ‘unaffordable’. The most recent valuations of the Teachers’ Pensions Scheme confirm that’s just not true. They just want to rip-off our pensions to pay for their debts.

The first Hutton report made quite clear what the Government intends – to make us retire older and pay more for less pension.

October’s Comprehensive Spending Review made the threat clearer. The Government plans for all teachers to be paying another 3% of our salaries in pension contributions. That’s a big pay cut. It’s a cut that we cannot accept.

On top of that, the Government have switched the indexation of pension benefits from the Retail Price Index to the lower Consumer Price Index. That change alone could cost a teacher tens of thousands of pounds in retirement.

When the Hutton Commission issues its final report in March, it could include further attacks. Changed pension calculations – like using ‘career-averages’ – could cut pension payouts. Our retirement age could go up – to 65 for all of us – but perhaps to 67 and beyond – unless we make a stand.

We can’t wait for Hutton’s Final Report in March to reveal the full details of these attacks. To make Hutton and the Government think again, we have to take action before then – hopefully co-ordinated with other teaching and non-teaching unions too.

That’s why the NUT Executive agreed unanimously to produce a timetable for:

• Distribution of campaigning materials

• Meetings, rallies and demonstrations

• A ballot for strike action in the spring term.

We will approach other unions to seek maximum co-ordination in all of the above activities and then confirm our action timetable at the December meeting of the NUT Executive.

Get the news out to every school – the fight to defend our pensions is on!

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