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UK education union joins resistance

The UK National Union of Teachers (NUT) has joined other education unions including NASUWT, UCU and UCAC to reject the British government’s pension deal.

Commenting on the latest Teachers’ Pension Scheme proposed by the government, the NUT’s general secretary Christine Blower said, “The NUT was not able to sign up to the government’s headline proposals. There was insufficient progress in terms of the government’s position that teachers should work longer, pay more and get less. In the NUT we reserved our position due to lack of progress but also the lack of documentation in certain critical areas.”

Meanwhile, Britain’s civil service unions have warned of further strikes in early 2012 as the coalition government has given them a deadline to sign up to a formal offer, calling for public sector workers to pay more in pension contributions from April 2012 onward.

The proposals include a £314m rise in pension contributions, causing a 7.6% decline in the salary of 25% of British teachers.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, which is one of Britain’s largest trade unions, has also condemned the government for “trying to bully union members into accepting massive cuts to their pensions”.

Remarking on the issue, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka insisted that the UK government’s decision would “mean the loss of tens of thousands of pounds for many people.”

“These changes are neither necessary nor fair and we will continue to oppose them, and we believe further industrial action will be needed if the government refuses to negotiate on the key issues of paying more and working longer for less,” said Serwotka.

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