NEWS • VIEWS • INFORMATION • ADVICE
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Warns Treasury on opt-out
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, has written to Danny Alexander MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, to set out the NASUWT’s opposition to the proposed changes to public sector pensions and lodge a formal dispute over the plans.
In her letter, Ms Keates set out the results of a survey of members on pensions to which thousands of responses were received. A total of 98% of members opposed the Coalition’s plans and 89% are prepared to back industrial action over the changes. Ms Keates warned that a co-ordinated and concerted campaign of industrial action is inevitable if ministers do not withdraw their damaging and unjustified proposals. “The proposals on pensions are adding to an explosive mix of widespread job loss, the academisation project, threats to conditions of service, increased workload and a significant pay cut as a result of the two-year pay freeze, increases in VAT and National Insurance and the rising cost of living”, she stated in her letter. “The Coalition Government’s ideological penalisation of education and other public services is simply unacceptable and the reaction of public service workers should not be underestimated.”
The NASUWT campaign continues
Over the last 18 months the NASUWT has mounted a vigorous campaign against the Coalition’s proposals. The Union is opposed to the plans and firmly rejects claims by the Coalition that such changes are necessary to make either teachers or public sector pensions sustainable or viable. The NASUWT committed in 2010 to taking all possible steps, including industrial action, to prevent sweeping changes to public sector pension provision, which could see employee contributions rise by 50%.
Action taken so far by the NASUWT:
• Annual Conference 2011 unanimously condemned the Coalition Government’s assault on public sector pensions and reaffirmed the Union to taking whatever industrial action necessary to safeguard the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS).
• A formal dispute has been lodged with the Treasury over the plans for public sector pensions.
• A programme of roadshows and briefings has been held across the country to inform members about the plans and raise awareness of the campaign.
• A dedicated webpage has been set up at www.nasuwt.org.uk/Pensions
to provide members with all the latest information and advice on the campaign.
• Regular updates have been sent to members at their home address informing them on the latest developments.
• An online RPI to CPI calculator has been created to help members quantify the effects the changes in pension indexing will have on them.
• A survey of members to which over 37,000 responses were received has been conducted to gauge the views of members on this critical issue.
• The NASUWT is the only teachers’ union to have lodged a legal challenge in the High Court to seek to reverse the Coalition Government’s decision to change the indexing of teachers’ pensions from RPI to CPI.
• The NASUWT is on the TUC negotiating team with the Treasury in discussions.
All the latest news, updates and further information on the campaign to protect public sector pensions can be found on the NASUWT website at www.nasuwt.org.uk/Pensions
Make your voice heard
Are you worried about the changes that the Coalition Government is proposing to make to your pension?
Are you concerned that you may find it difficult to pay any proposed increases in contributions?
If you are retired or about to retire, are you concerned about the change in rating from RPI to CPI?
A new facility on the NASUWT website lets you contact your MP, MSP, AM and MLA to express your concerns simply by typing in your postcode. A template letter is provided or members can compose their own. The NASUWT has developed the new tool to encourage members to support the Union’s campaigning work by lobbying their politicians. Further template letters will be made available on a range of other NASUWT campaigning issues.
Go to www.nasuwt.org.uk/PensionsCampaign
to use the new service.
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