NUT threatens strikes ‘by the summer’ over pension changes

Union incensed at Government's decision to increase pension contributions and retirement age while holding down teachers' pay.

A series of regional strikes over the threat to teachers’ pensions could start as early as this summer term.

Delegates at the National Union of Teachers’ annual conference will tomorrow be urged to back a move for widespread regional action across England and Wales following a one-day by London teachers last month.

The union is incensed at the Government’s decision to increase pension contributions and the retirement age while holding down teachers’ pay.

Kevin Courtney, deputy general secretary of the NUT, said:  “It is absolutely clear that teachers don’t accept the changes that the Government are making.

“For the first time since the 1930’s teachers will see a cash reduction in their take home pay this month because their contributions go up.”

The union estimates this will mean a teacher with ten years’ experience working outside London will lose £30 a month now – rising to £74 as contributions increase yet again by 2014.  In inner London, the figures will be £49 and £123 respectively.

The conference in Torquay will tomorrow also be urged to discuss joint strike action with other public services unions “in the summer term and beyond”.

Christine Blower, the union’s general secretary stressed that exam classes would be exempted from any action. Strikes over pensions would not need a further ballot of teachers as they have already voted in favour of them.

The threat of pensions’ strike is one of half a dozen issues on which the union will threaten strike action over the next few days at the conference.

A motion calling for action up to strike on the Government’s move to scrap national pay agreements and introduce regional pay will be debated on Monday.

Other issues to be debated include a call for a boycott of new reading tests for six-year-olds this summer,  Teachers’ leaders consider the tests, designed to show whether pupils can spell phonetically, are “unnecessary”.

The Nut is also warning of ballots on strike action in schools which take an “extree2 on the Government’s dispensation to make it easier to dismiss teachers for poor performance from September – and over moves to introduce a five-term year, as is planned in Nottingham, to reduce their summer holidays.

The NUT is not alone in threatening strike action over pay and pensions.  Yesterday Chris Keates, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers, warned of an autumn of discontent in schools.  It will be debating “ratcheting up” a work-to-rule that it is currently operating in schools later tomorrow.

A spokesman for the Department for Education said of the threatened strikes over pensions: said the deal currently on offer – accepted by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers earlier this week – was “as good as it gets and takes the right balance , guaranteeing teachers one of the best pensions”.

On regional pay, he added: “We’re well off making final decisions on this so it is far too premature to talk about industrial action.”

The profession’s pay review body had been asked to make a report on the issue in September – after which the Government would consult on any proposals.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Reach Volunteering: Would you like to volunteer your expertise as Chair of Governors for Livability?

Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses are reimbursable: Reach Volunteering...

Ashdown Group: Payroll Administrator - Buckinghamshire - £25,000

£20000 - £25000 per annum + substantial benefits: Ashdown Group: Finance Admin...

Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator - Windows, Linux - Central London

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrat...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine