NUT: Teachers cannot stand back while pensions attacked

Christine Blower National Union of Teachers general secretary hits out at "disgraceful" attacks on teachers' pensions:

"Today's action across the country demonstrates the anger and distress that this government is causing teachers. Their unjustified attacks on teachers' pensions are nothing short of disgraceful.

"Teachers are dedicated to the children and young people whom they teach. They are professionals and do not take strike action lightly. But they cannot stand back and see their pensions attacked when all the evidence shows that they are affordable and sustainable and that their costs are falling.

"In our negotiations, the government has refused to offer any movement on the three core issues of teachers having to work longer, pay more and get far less in retirement. Despite the government's refusal to conduct a valuation of the Teachers Pension Scheme, they continue to say that teachers must pay 50% more for their pensions and must work until they are 68. It is they who are responsible for the situation that we now find ourselves in.

"The NUT knows that many private sector workers have little or no employer-funded pension provision. The government needs to address this by helping private sector workers, not attacking public sector workers in a race to the bottom.

"The NUT is working alongside other TUC affiliated unions to secure decent pensions for all workers and, as part of that campaign; we have today jointly launched a Fair Pensions for All petition which urges the prime minister to ensure that all workers and pensioners have dignity and decent living standards in retirement".