London Teacher Strike Set for March 28th

The NUT and UCU plan to take industrial action in London on March 28 yet again over a breakdown in pension talks with the Government. The last such strikes were in June and November 2011.

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“The Government is well aware that teachers do not accept the changes that they propose to make to our pensions.

“The vast majority of teaching unions have not signed up to the latest pension proposals which still mean that teachers will have to pay much more, work much longer and get much less in retirement.

The row has been ongoing for many months with no sign of common ground being found between the unions and the Government. No additional money has been made available since last November and planned reforms to pay across the public sector are angering workers.

The dispute could escalate beyond two days of strike action a year and see many teachers start ‘working-to-rule’, a move which would severely disrupt an increasing bureaucratic and paperwork heavy profession far more than an occasional strike day. In the latest ballot on strike action, 82% were in favor.

Chris Keates, General Secretary, said: “Teachers have been faced with a rising tide of excessive workload and a series of attacks on their profession, including unjust pension reforms, worsening pay and conditions of service, and increasing job insecurity.

Teachers who bought into the concept of pensions are finding out, as have other sectors, that their original projections of retirement income are now considered unsustainable by the Government because of higher life expectancy and national debt. With quantitative easing and recent EU legislation already chipping away at their pension pots the current proposals are an austerity measure that many seem unwilling to accept.