April 2012 is the month when the pensions robbery starts to take effect - as teachers see their pay being cut through the imposition of increased pensions contributions.
According to the NUT pensions loss calculator, a UPS1 teacher is set to lose £27 from their monthly salary, £44 if teaching in Inner London.
That’s only the first year of the three-year phased increase. By 2014, the pay cut for the same grade is set to rise to £68 a month, a £820 yearly pay cut. In Inner London, it could be £113 a month!
With the rise in pension ages to 68 (or more) due to start in 2015, we are now in a decisive phase of the pensions campaign. We can’t let the campaign ebb away. We still have time to escalate a campaign of action to defeat this robbery.
March 28 : London shows the way
The solid response from NUT and UCU members to the strike across the London region on March 28 showed the depth of the anger that remains against these cuts.
Thousands of strikers marched through the centre of London and even the DfE had to admit that it caused 'significant' disruption.
NUT Conference congratulated the London membership for their response “which demonstrated a continued willingness to oppose the Government’s unacceptable threats to teachers’ pensions”.
Let’s step up the campaign
NUT Conference agreed to set a programme of local or regional strikes in the summer term, aiming to call a further national strike before the end of June 2012.
Delegates also agreed that the NUT “urgently approach the other unions who have not accepted the government’s final proposals … and announce the confirmed calendar of action”.
A special edition of ‘Classroom Teacher’ was given out to NASUWT Conference delegates urging them to join in action with the NUT. The press reported that the NASUWT might consider further strike action - which is a step forward - but only in the Autumn Term.
The NUT now needs to set that urgent calendar of action - and hope that the NASUWT can be persuaded to join in as well.
We need an action calendar
Most teachers have not now taken strike action since November. If we delay further, there is a risk that we lose all momentum. Some people are already doubting whether the campaign can be taken forward. It certainly can be - and it MUST be! We cannot allow pension ages to rise to 68 or 70. Nor can we give confidence to this Government to pile ahead with all their other attacks. We have to urgently set a calendar of action.
Call on your Union to act !
Pressure from below is essential to give unions the confidence to fight. NUT Division Secretaries have been sent a survey asking them to say if members would take part in further action - call your secretary and tell them you would strike!
NUT Executive members frustrated at the lack of a clear plan have also requisitioned an emergency meeting at the end of April. Call your Executive member and urge them to vote for action this term.
Come along to the Conference on June 16 to keep up the pressure:
Local Associations for National Action on Pensions ConferenceLiverpool
Saturday 16 June