Majority Of Teachers In Wales To Be Balloted For Industrial Action - press release - Wales

- 20 May 2011

Today the Association of Lecturers has opened its ballot on industrial action to defend teachers' pensions. They join the National Union of Teachers, Wales's biggest teachers' union, who opened their ballot on Wednesday. Both unions are working together to ensure that all teachers know about the threat to their pensions and about the need to take urgent action to defeat the Westminster Government's attempts to get teachers to pay more, work longer and get less.

Dr. Philip Dixon, Director of ATL Cymru said: 'We are not entering on this course of action lightly – teachers do not think that striking is an easy option. But our members are convinced that only the threat of strike action will bring the Westminster government to its senses, and make it negotiate about changes rather than seeking to impose them. We are delighted that our ballot will run alongside that of the NUT. The fact that both unions are taking this action together shows the strength of feeling in the sector. Every staff room in Wales will now be talking about the issues involved. Teachers up and down the country are incensed by this attempted smash and grab.'

David Evans, Wales Secretary of the NUT commented: "The Westminster Government have already shown their hand in their determination to force change by altering the method by which inflationary increases to pensions are applied. That has already resulted in teachers pensions being devalued and any proposed consultation exercise becoming a sham. We have to send the strongest possible message to the Government and we have to do it now. They will not change course unless they know that all teachers throughout England and Wales are opposed to their plans and we are confident that our ballot will send that message"