The Government is trying to rob teachers. We must stop them.
They have announced that they want to increase our pension contribution rates from 6.4% to as high as 9.8% of salary. That’s around a £100 a month pay cut.
This money won’t be going to help pay for teachers’ pensions. The Government’s own figures show that teachers’ pension scheme costs are already set to fall. No, this is just a ‘smash-and-grab’ raid by the Treasury. Billions are lost in tax avoidance each year but they want to impose an extra tax on teachers to plug the hole in the Government’s finances.
In short, the Con-Dems want us to foot the bill for the bankers’ gambling debts - and bonuses. It’s time to say,‘we’re not paying!’
The Government’s have already announced that they want to rip off millions of us by switching from RPI to CPI indexation this April. Next month, the second and final Hutton Report will recommend further attacks on our pensions. Hutton’s Report must be given a clear answer - by teacher unions balloting for strike action.
The UCU lecturers union - including members of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme - are being balloted already. Their first day of strike action could be in March.
The NUT has already agreed that it will start a ballot this term but postponed any final decision to see if agreement could be reached on joint action with other teaching unions.
Those discussions are ongoing - but a decision needs to be made, and quickly. Joint action by the NASUWT, ATL and NUT would be a sign of strength. But delay to go at the ‘speed of the slowest’ would be a real sign of weakness.
The Government needs to know that unions mean business - and so do classroom teachers. The NUT must start its ballot in March - so strike action can start next term - hopefully with other unions.
A solid one-day strike to start our action will boost confidence - and be another step to united action to defeat all the Con-Dem cuts.