Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Solid support for the strike

Members of the NUT across the country have turned out in force to stand up against attacks on our pensions. In East Sussex more than half of all schools were completely closed, with the majority of others closed to many or most pupils.

Thousands of trade unionists, from NUT, NASUWT, ATL, UCU, Unison, GMB, Unite, PCS and the many smaller craft unions attended rallies across the region. I was privileged to speak at the Eastbourne Rally, which had originally been scheduled to take place at the Unite Eastbourne centre. It became clear by 10.30 that there was no way we could all fit into the room, so an impromptu rally was staged at Eastbourne Bandstand, after which more than 500 people marched into the Town Centre.

The campaign goes on to press the Government to revalue the scheme, and enter into negotiations based on the reality of our pensions which are (as a result of difficult decisions in 2005-6) affordable, sustainable and fair: the costs are on course to fall.

Also, it is absolutely central to the campaign that the Government and the tabloid press are not allowed to label this as a public vs. private sector conflict. The scandal of inadequate pension provision in the private sector also needs to be urgently addresses.

I would urge members once again to read the pamphlet Fair Pensions for All produced by the NUT, PCS, UCU and Unite in conjunction with the National Pensioners Convention. This looks at the whole issue of pension provision, from the State Pension, through the attacks on occupational pensions, and gives a whole wealth of information that will help you when you discuss our campaign- as you must- with friends, family and colleagues.

Visit the NUT Website for the latest on the campaign to defend teachers pensions.

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