Teachers' anger at increase in pension cost
Published: 28th Jul 2011 17:07:38
Teachers' unions have raised the prospect of further industrial action amid angry responses to proposals for higher pension contributions.
"Members have taken strike action before to defend their pensions and will do so again," said NUT leader Christine Blower.
The proposals mean that an experienced teacher earning £35,000 per year would contribute an extra £341 per year.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb said the plans are "fair and sustainable".
Along with other public sector workers, teachers are being given details of proposed changes to how much money they will have to pay into their pension scheme.
For teachers in the most typical pay band - £32,000 to £39,999 per year - contributions will rise from 6.4% to 7.6%.
But the announcement has prompted an angry response from teachers' unions, who reject the government's plans for public sector pensions.
They have argued that teachers are being forced to pay for the banking crisis and deficit.
It is right that we ask public sector employees to pay more towards their pension to ensure they are affordable for future generations of teachers”
"It has nothing to do with the affordability or sustainability of teachers' pensions, it is a tax on teachers to pay for the mistakes of others," said Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT head teachers' union.
"The proposed increase in pension contributions is about plugging the hole in the deficit created by the banking crisis, it's not about making the pension scheme affordable in the long term," added Malcolm Trobe of the ASCL head teachers' union.
"All indications are that the teachers' scheme is already self-sufficient with contributions at the current rate."
And he warned: "This may be the last straw for the education sector."
Teachers' unions staged a one-day strike over pensions in the summer term - and last week the ATL and NUT warned of further industrial action in the autumn, if no agreement had been reached with the government.
The strike disrupted 12,000 schools in England and Wales - with teachers protesting against changes which they said would mean higher contributions, longer years of working and lower payments.
In response to the details of proposed increases in contributions, the NUT general secretary, Christine Blower set out her opposition.
"Beginning a formal consultation over the political recess when there will be little chance for scrutiny will be regarded, quite rightly by teachers as a cynical move," she said.
"We cannot allow this ruthless dismantling of our public sector pensions to go ahead."
ATL general secretary Mary Bousted said: "It's clear that the proposed contribution increases are simply a way of raising money from teachers and lecturers to go to the Treasury, not towards pensions. We don't think this tax on teachers is fair."
Chris Keates, leader of the NASUWT, said it was "grossly unjust" that teachers would be paying through their penions an "additional tax for a financial crisis they did not create".
The Department for Education has set out how pension changes would affect contributions by a range of teaching staff.
It shows that a newly-qualified teacher, earning £21,000 per year, would pay an extra £126 per year.
But because pension contributions are taken before income tax is deducted, the department calculates that these entry-level teachers in effect would pay £103 more per year.
A head teacher earning £100,000 per year, on this calculation including income tax, would pay an extra £1,206.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb promised that "the Teachers' Pension Scheme will remain one of the very best available in the public sector".
"However, people are living longer and this makes pensions more expensive. Lord Hutton made it clear that there needs to be a fairer balance between what employees and taxpayers contribute towards public service pensions," said Mr Gibb.
"It is right that we ask public sector employees to pay more towards their pension to ensure they are affordable for future generations of teachers."
Proposed changes for teachers' pensions, 2012-2013:
Increased contribution (net of tax relief)
Newly qualified teacher
Experienced classroom teacher
Senior leadership post
At 15:02:39 in SportNorth Ferriby manager Billy Heath has appealed to Gainsborough Trinity to act "professionally" in their Conference North decider against AFC Telford.
At 15:02:36 in HeadlinesRival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have announced a reconciliation deal after a meeting in the Gaza Strip.
At 14:58:30 in EnglandA body supporting NHS groups in the eastern region has warned it could cease to operate in its "current form".
At 14:53:58 in EnglandSteven Gerrard's cousin, who died in the Hillsborough disaster, would have been "very proud" of the England captain, his mother told an inquest.
At 14:52:57 in EnglandA list of the schools Ofsted has been sent in to inspect over an alleged plot by Muslim hard-liners to seize control of governing bodies has been published.
At 14:52:04 in ScotlandControversial plans to end the need for evidence in Scottish criminal trials to come from two sources have been delayed by the government.
At 14:48:29 in ScotlandThe oil and gas industry is worth about £35bn to the UK economy, according to a new study.
At 14:46:07 in WalesA benefits cheat who claimed to have a fear of open spaces has been jailed for a year at Merthyr Crown court after being caught working as a tour guide in South America.
At 14:44:41 in EnglandJurors in the indecent assault trial of publicist Max Clifford have been told they can return a majority verdict.
At 14:42:23 in HeadlinesFor centuries, gardeners have put shards of pottery - "crocks" - at the bottom of plant pots to increase drainage. But a new study has debunked the tradition, writes Tom de Castella.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2011. Teachers' anger at increase in pension cost [Online] (Updated 28th Jul 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/173834/Teachers-anger-at-increase-in-pension-cost [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
A body supporting NHS groups in the eastern region has warned it could cease to operate in its "current form".
An Israeli start-up plans to release a printer early next year that is small enough to fit inside its owner's pocket but works with any-sized paper.
Controversial plans to end the need for evidence in Scottish criminal trials to come from two sources have been delayed by the government.
The Football Association was hit by a £34m drop in broadcasting rights income last season compared with 2011-12.
Jurors in the indecent assault trial of publicist Max Clifford have been told they can return a majority verdict.
North Ferriby manager Billy Heath has appealed to Gainsborough Trinity to act "professionally" in their Conference North decider against AFC Telford.