British teachers' union vote for strike
[Iran Press TV] The British Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has voted for an industrial action to be taken in protest at the government's proposed plans to change pension schemes.
This is the first time ever in the UK history that the ATL delegates have overwhelmingly supported strike action during their annual conference in Liverpool, British media reported.
All delegates, excluding four, upheld the motion that urged ATL leaders to ballot the members for a national strike against the coalition government's "pension tax." Under the plan, the teachers' retirement payouts will be slashed.
Senior vice-president Alice Robinson told the delegates that the measures would represent the most swinging changes ever.
"Teachers' pension contributions would increase by half in the next three years - on average £100 a month," she said.
"Their retirement age would rise from 65 to 68 and their pension would be based on a career average instead of their final salary," added Robinson.
Robinson went on to say that the country's record budget deficit has caused the government to conspire these offers, otherwise they would have nothing to do with the state of the pension scheme.
"Our only available bargaining weapon is a resounding demonstration by the teaching profession and their opposition to the proposed changes," she said, adding that the ATL had earlier tried legal channels such as delivering a 15,000-signature petition to Downing Street but "all to no avail."
Isle of Man science teacher Andrew Shipley said the coalition was taking a "wrecking ball" to state education.
Inner London teacher Kim Knappett voiced anger at the government's claim that "we're all in this together."
"Work longer? I've already done 24 years this summer," she said.
"I expected when I started to do 14 more - hopefully less - but now I have at least another 22 years to go. "
"I've had a reduction in my pay, I lost my (rest and recreation) because my school's in deficit, I'm going to lose my child benefit, there's been a VAT increase, there's going to be a pay freeze and now you want me to pay more for my pension," she pointed out furiously.
Posted by: Fred