Thousands of teachers, lecturers and support staff will be visiting Parliament tomorrow (Wednesday, 26 October) to lobby their MPs about pension cuts in the education sector.
The unprecedented action is part of a joint campaign by seven leading education unions to protest about Ministers’ unwillingness to enter into meaningful negotiations on pensions and the Government’s refusal to carry out the legally-required and overdue valuation of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.
Staff from the maintained, academy and independent sectors in England and Wales as well as from colleges and post-92 universities, will lobby their MPs and hand in petitions from their workplaces. The General Secretaries of the seven unions will present a petition to the Department for Education signed by 130,000 – and counting – school, college and university staff. Further details on where the presentation will be made will be available shortly. The petition states that the Government’s proposals are unjustified and nothing more than a stealth tax on hard-working and dedicated staff.
Organisers of the campaign issued this statement:
“It will be abundantly clear tomorrow that the profession is united in its determination to oppose cuts to our pensions. Teachers, lecturers and support staff won’t stand idly by whilst the Government tries to drive through changes that would be deeply damaging to staff recruitment, retention, mobility, morale and motivation and jeopardise the education of children, young people and other learners.
“The fact that over a 100,000 teachers and lecturers from around the country have signed the petition and thousands are giving up a day of their half-term holiday to come to London to lobby MPs, shows just how high feelings are running.
“This lobby and the large number of petitions returned should serve as a wake-up call to the Government. If Ministers don’t recognise that pensions are both affordable and sustainable, many teachers and lecturers will be left with no option but to take further action, including supporting the planned TUC day of action on 30 November.”
Notes for editors:
The campaign is being jointly organised by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of
Women Teachers (NASUWT), National Union of Teachers (NUT), University and College Union (UCU) and Undeb Cenedlaethol Athrawon Cymru (UCAC).
For more information and interviews contact:
ASCL: Brian Lightman, General Secretary, on 07977 541868 or Sara Gadzik on 07769 677902.
ATL: Christine Gregory on 020 7782 1589 or out of hours 07918 617 466.
NAHT: Russell Hobby, General Secretary, on 07545 354 363 or Heather Forse on 01444 472452 or 07739 325133.
NASUWT: Chris Keates, General Secretary or Patrick Roach, Deputy General Secretary on 020 7420 9670.
NUT: Caroline Cowie on 0207 380 4706 or 07879480061.
UCU: Dan Ashley on 020 7756 2600 or 07789 518 992.
UCAC: Elaine Edwards, General Secretary, on 07787 573707 or Rebecca Williams, Policy Officer on 07787 572180.