Friday, 6 January 2012

Teaching Unions Refuse Pensions Deal

As the BBC News reported tonight, both the NUT and NASUWT have confirmed that we are refusing to sign-up to the Pensions 'Heads of Agreement'.

Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the NUT told the BBC that "We have a meeting of our executive committee next week, which will look at how to take the campaign forward, including a consideration of industrial action."

Report on:

The Officers' Report going to next week's NUT Executive recommends:

 “a) that the Union cannot agree to the “heads of agreement” document because there has been no movement on any of the key areas the union has identified:
- Normal pension age in the scheme will rise to 68 and even higher. (Teachers who leave before that age will face substantial reductions in their pension entitlements)

- Contributions will increase by 50%
- The change to CPI will remove a further 15% of scheme value
- The introduction of career averaging will lead to further cuts in pension value for a big majority of teachers.
- There has been no movement on the cost ceiling.
- It contains no reassurances that teachers in Independent schools will continue to have access to the pension scheme.

“b) that the Union seek a meeting with Michael Gove and other willing unions in particular to press on the contributions and the age of retirement in particular.

“c) that the Union appeal against the high court ruling on CPI/RPI

“d) that the Union immediately begin to enact the other points from the decisions of the December executive – polling members via email on their view of the Government offer – following materials from the Union indicating that the Union’s position is that it does not go anywhere near far enough.

“e) that the Union urgently write to school reps informing them of the details of the offer – and the other points in these recommendations and urging them to call school meetings to discuss it and ask members to respond to the NUT on-line survey.

“f) that the Union start preparations for a ballot for non-strike sanctions and that this be on a wider basis than pensions alone – including workload and the threats to worsen the performance management arrangements.

“g) that the Union propose to other unions a joint program of publicity and action to continue to campaign for improvements in the pension including by putting forward a petition on the Government website calling for teachers and other public sector workers not to be expected to work to 68 years.

“h) that the Union continue to work with the NPC, public sector and private sector unions and through both the PSLG and TUCG to develop the campaign around fair pensions for all.

“i) that the Union continue to meet with other unions that have not signed up to the heads of agreement to discuss the possibilities of joint campaigning and possible further strike and non-strike action.

“j) that a divisional secretaries meeting be held on 2nd February to discuss the developments in the pensions campaign and the campaign around performance management and other workload issues

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