Teachers Union calls for pension changes strike



ATL

ATL

One of the teachers unions has called for a strike ballot as part of their ongoing campaign against pension changes.

The move, which would cause inconvenience to millions of parents, would be the first of its kind by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers and would be unlikely to find much public sympathy.

Mary Bousted, leader of the union warned that the proposed changes would lead to teachers facing a cut to their pension benefits but the Department for Education disagreed.

They released a statement saying that changes would be “affordable, sustainable and fair”.

After their annual conference in Liverpool the AFL is expected to announce plans for a ballot later on today as the threat of having to work for longer, with reduced benefits becomes more real.

The Union claim the action, likely to be in the form of a one day strike at some point in the final term of the year would “encourage the government to negotiate more flexibly”.

The ATL are not known for their radical approach suggesting there is a strong backing among teachers who are worried about their pension.

The changes will see the retirement age increased to 68, and will also see the current final salary scheme replaced with a career average scheme, a move likely to leave many teachers with a lower pension.

The union claim that reduction would be in the region of 25%, and the unions leader also questioned whether teachers would have the energy to manage a class of children at that age.

The Department for Education responded, saying, “Lord Hutton has made it clear that change is needed. People are living longer – in the early 1970s life expectancy of a 60 year old was around 18 years, now it is around 28 years.

“This has meant that the value of public service pensions has increased, with most of these costs falling to employers and taxpayers.

“The government has accepted Lord Hutton’s recommendations as a basis for consultation with public sector workers and will set out proposals in the autumn that are affordable, sustainable, and fair to both the public sector workforce and taxpayers.”

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