Tag Archives: J30

Teachers vote YES to strike

Teachers in the NUT and ATL unions have voted in favour of taking strike action over changes to pensions.

92% of NUT and 83% of ATL members voted yes – a huge mandate for action, especially for ATL, which has not been on strike since the 1960s.

These are the first of the unions balloting for action on 30th June to declare – PCS results are expected later this week, whilst Unison – who are balloting council workers in Birmingham for 2 days of strikes – will come next week.

The unions say the pensions changes will leave them working longer, paying more and getting less when they retire.  Contributions to the scheme will rise, by up to £1,250 / year for teachers, whilst the retirement age will be increased and pensions payments reduced, firstly by moving from RPI to CPI to calculate increases, and secondly by changing from a final salary scheme to a career average scheme.

At our public meeting on May 26th, Doug Morgan from NUT spoke about public sector pensions, debunking some of the myths surrounding “gold-plated” pensions.  The average public sector pension is around £4,000 per year.  He also argued that the only thing maintaining private sector pensions (which he described as awful) were the public sector pensions (described as OK).

Doug will be speaking at the Stockland Green Against the Cuts meeting on Wednesday (tomorrow).  If you live in North Birmingham, why not go along and hear first hand about why both parents and private sector workers should be supporting the strike.

We need to support teachers in their action to defend their conditions.  This is not a selfish action, but an action taken to defend a vital public service.  I think it is fair to say that everyone benefits from a strong public sector education system, and an attack on the teachers is an attack on schools.

Parents, let your teachers know that you support them in this action.  Anything which reduces the rewards for doing an often very difficult and emotionally hard job reduces the quality of people who will consider doing that job.   Standards of teaching haven risen vastly in this country over the past decade, in no small part because of the extra investments that have been made, including pay rises.

Worsening the pension scheme will only act as a disincentive to enter or stay in teaching, so although it will be annoying having to work out what to do if your child’s school closes for the day, this strike is about the long term future of their education.

And we are of course encouraging everyone to take two days annual leave for the 29th and 30th – two days we hope will be packed full of anti-cuts activity.

So if your child’s school closes on 30th June (and we hope that lots of schools will be closed), why not bring them along to the strike rally?

 

 

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Filed under Cuts, Stockland Green Against the Cuts, strike

30th June Strikes

On 30th June, we will see huge strikes taking place by public sectors workers.  Teaching unions NUT and ATL, and the civil service union PCS have voted YES to strike action on the 30th.  In Birmingham, UNISON are balloting their council workers for strikes on the 29th and 30th.

On the 30th, there will be a strike rally, assembling at Victoria Square at 12noon, with a march around the centre back to a rally, also in Victoria square.

We think it is important to stand up for our children’s education in schools, council services, our local colleges and our civil service too.
Council workers, Teachers, Lecturers and Civil Servants (who do everything from collecting taxes, serving our courts and providing a service to unemployed workers in jobcentres) all provide vital services to people in our city.
At the moment the government is trying to rob them of their pension. We are often told that public service workers have gold plated pensions and because people are living longer they are not sustainable, but this is not true.
It is the banking crisis at fault, not public sector workers. The government bailed out the banks over a trillion pounds and rather than get the money back from them, they are making US ALL pay.

What is worse is that there is over £120 billion in taxes which remain unpaid, evaded or avoided, by the rich.
It is very unfair the government wants to raid public sector pensions by cutting them by a third, increasing the pension age to 68 and making workers pay 50% more for it. This is the pension fund of people who have worked all of their lives to educate our children, help people find work and keep us safe.

If the taxes were collected from the rich there would be no need to be any cuts at all. That is why we urge you to support the public sector strike on the 30th June.

Printed leaflets are available to collect from the Unison offices, or you can download and print them yourselves from our resources page.

We will be doing a lot of leafletting in the run up to the 30th, please get in contact if you can help us – either email BirminghamAgainstTheCuts@Gmail.com or contact the local group if there is one in your area

If you are on facebook, attend the facebook event and invite your friends.

If you are not in one of the balloting unions, can you book annual leave on the 30th to show solidarity with strikers and join us at the strike rally? This could become a huge show of resistance to the cuts, and perhaps spark an upsurge in union activity heading into the autumn.

 

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