First teachers strike in three decades looks on



Two of the biggest teachers unions in the country will today announce the results of a ballot to decide whether to take strike action over the pension cuts proposed by the government.

The strike, which is looking extremely likely would be the first by teachers in over 30 years and will throw schools and parents into chaos.

The strike, which could see as many as 300,000 teachers walk out for one day at the end of June, would most likely see most schools have to close altogether, with parents then having to take time off work to look after them.

The near 300,000 members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) have been asked if they want to strike.

The unions are striking over proposed plans to pensions for teachers which will see them working longer, paying more and receiving less in the end.

The union leaders are most outraged by the governments decision to increase contributions by 3.4% from 2014, only four years after the last changes which were introduced to make the scheme “affordable and sustainable.”

ATL General secretary, Mary Bousted, described the response from members as ”overwhelming”.

”I’ve never seen ATL members so angry about what the Government is doing and I’ve never seen such determination by members to protect their pensions,” she added.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka added: ”Our members know that everything they have ever worked for is now under threat, and they are voting to say there is an alternative worth fighting for.

”The Government is seeking to blame and punish public sector workers for an economic crisis that ministers and their advisers know was caused by greed and recklessness in the financial sector.

”This ballot is about showing that, if we invested in our economy and tackled the real scroungers who dodge paying billions of pounds in taxes, we would not need to cut a single penny from public spending.”

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