Monday, September 26, 2011

Lobby MPs over pensions

At their meeting on 25 September the West Sussex Teachers Association
Executive agreed to support the lobby of Parliament on Wednesday, 26
October. The lobby is to protest against ruthless pension cuts in the
education sector. The unprecedented action is part of a joint campaign
by seven leading education unions to draw attention to the myths
surrounding the debate on pensions and to the severity of the cuts
being proposed.

Teachers are concerned that pension changes could cause a recruitment
crisis. Teachers and lecturers who are entering the profession, or who
have recently
entered, will face the greatest difficultly in increased costs for
their pensions. New teachers and lecturers may have large student
loans, which could be over £30,000. Teaching is one of the top
graduate employment destinations; this could change if the proposals
are introduced.

The lobby is being held during the half-term holiday to avoid
interrupting school children?s education and causing disruption for
parents. However the seven unions have not ruled out further
industrial action if the government continues to erode pensions.

Organisers of the campaign issued this statement:

The fact that thousands of teachers and lecturers from around the
country are giving up a day of their half-term holiday to come to
London to lobby MPs shows just how high feelings are running. The
profession is absolutely united in condemning the scandalous way
pensions are being ransacked to pay off the national debt.

The public has a right to know that cuts could ultimately affect the
quality of education for young people as high calibre graduates
re-think their career choice. We will also be challenging the myths
about how public sector pensions impact on taxpayers.

Teachers and lecturers never take strike action lightly and for this
reason the lobby has been organised during half term, to ensure there
is no disruption to pupils or parents. However if the government
continues to erode pensions, which they know are both affordable and
sustainable, teachers will be left with no option but to take further
action, including strike action.

We urge the government to listen to the message that this lobby sends.
Teachers cannot stand by and see their pensions eroded for purely
political reasons. It is entirely possible to avoid further disruption
but for that to happen the government needs to negotiate fairly.?

Details are available on the website:


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