At a meeting held on 3 March Executive and Council decided to ballot members on industrial action short of strike action, including a work to contract, in response to the attack on teachers’ pensions. It was clear from the consultation held during February that the majority of members wished to be balloted on a work to contract.
This decision was taken in response to the unilateral decision to impose increases in pension contributions with effect from 1 April 2012, and an increasing sense that the UK Government will not negotiate on the other proposals but intend to impose these, including:
Changing accrual of existing pensions from final salary to average salary with effect from 2015.
*Aligning the retirement age with the state retirement age, currently 65 but likely to be increased to 67 over the next 5-10 years.
*Introducing a tiered contribution system which will mean promoted post holders paying extra contributions and a higher rate.
Further details of these proposals can be viewed on the SSTA website at www.ssta.org.uk
We believe we have no choice but to seek approval for industrial action. In particular, the decision to make future pension provision payable at the state male retirement age is totally unacceptable. Effectively the Government will make savings simply because many teachers will die earlier. The SSTA does not accept that the UK Government has made the case that the teachers’ scheme is underfunded.
The Scottish Government have stated a willingness to discuss teachers’ pensions in Scotland but have made clear the limitations of their ability to negotiate. They inform us they have to make the savings dictated by the UK Government. They can amend the package by e.g. increasing retirement age and reducing contributions, or vice versa. Executive recommends that members vote to undertake action short of strike action
If members have any questions related to the pension issue or to industrial action please do not hesitate to contact us, preferably by email at info©ssta.org.uk
or, if the matter is urgent by telephone.