Unions in Wales have sent their support to colleagues in London who are taking a day’s regional strike action in opposition to the Westminster Government pensions raid. Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the University and College Union (UCU) will be taking action in schools, colleges and universities across London tomorrow (Wednesday March 28th).
NUT Cymru Policy Officer, Owen Hathway, said:
“Teachers and lecturers in Wales will be sending support to NUT and UCU members in London out on strike. Next week will see the first stage of a 50% increase in pension contributions for teachers across Wales, despite the evidence that the cost of their pensions is falling following changes made in 2007. The pay packets of hard-working teachers are going to be hit at a time when household budgets are already stretched to breaking point.
“The pension changes are totally unfair and are proposals based not on economics but politics. The strike in London will send a stark message to the Westminster Government that teachers are simply not prepared to accept having to work longer, pay more and receive less.”
UCU Wales Political Liaison Officer, Lleu Williams, said:
“Lecturers are unlikely militants, and would much rather be doing their jobs than losing a day’s pay. Lecturers really value their pensions and have made their views of the detrimental changes crystal clear. Strike action is always a last resort but with the average lecturer facing an increase of around £90 a month in their contributions to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) in exchange for reduced benefits, lecturers feel they have little choice.
“Our chosen vocation is to change lives and transform life chances. However it is not fair for ordinary people to suffer huge cuts in their standards of living by paying increased contributions and getting less on retirement.”