Thursday, 23 June 2011

Message from Sally Hunt (UCU) re pensions dispute 30/6/2011

Dear colleague,

On Thursday 30 June, hundreds of thousands of teachers and lecturers will be taking strike action to defend their pensions. I am writing to ask that you join them in taking strike action and attending one of the scores of rallies that will be taking place around the country. You can see a full list of rallies here:

UCU will be joined by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) in strike action to defend the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, while civil servants who are members of the PCS union will be taking strike action on the same day in defence of jobs, pay and pensions.

30 June will be one of the biggest days of industrial action for a long time and this is a measure of the widespread anger felt about the attack on public sector pensions and on the TPS.

If the government’s proposals go through, it will mean hard-pressed lecturers in Further and Higher Education working longer, paying greater contributions and losing tens of thousands of pounds over the course of their retirement.

We’re told that our members enjoy ‘gold-plated’ pensions. Yet the average man’s pension in FE is only £10,000, while the average woman’s pension is just over £6000 a year.

We’re told that it’s not fair that public sector workers should have better pensions than those in the private sector. I think that’s a scurrilous argument - that we should all embark on a race to the bottom because of the failure of private sector employers. Everyone has the right to a decent pension scheme in retirement.

We’re told that the government can’t understand why we are striking and not negotiating. Like the NUT and the ATL, we prefer negotiation to action and striking should always be a last resort. We’ve been talking through the TUC for months but now the government has made clear, in public, that it does not intend to compromise on the big issues.

That’s why I believe we need to join our colleagues in the NUT and the ATL in taking strike action next Thursday.

Please support the strike on Thursday and let’s help make this a national day of action across education that no one can ignore.


Sally Hunt
UCU General Secretary

To read our latest leaflet, click here:

To read more on the campaign to defend TPS, click here:

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