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Categories:Pensions,Politics

Teachers' unions seek "urgent meetings" over pension reforms

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Teachers’ unions the NUT and the NASUWT are seeking urgent meetings with Government ministers over proposed pension reforms.

Under plans put forward by the Government in December, teachers’ pensions will be based on career average earnings rather than their final salary.

The retirement age will also be brought into line with the state pension age and accruals will improve from 1/60ths to 1/57ths. However, contribution rates will increase for anybody earning more than £15,000.

Union negotiators say the proposals presented to them on December 20 are “incomplete” and lack an appropriate impact assessment.

Concerns also remain over proposals to increase contribution rates and the normal pension age for teachers.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates says: “Put bluntly the NASUWT national executive has recognised that the process the Department for Education used to seek to reach agreement by its imposed deadline of 20 December was a debacle.

“Valuable time was wasted by the DfE. It failed to provide the necessary information on which meaningful discussions could take place, chopped and changed its mind on the issues which were up for discussion and presented some potential changes which did not have Treasury approval.

“Unions were pressurised and threatened to sign up to a document when a final draft was not even available and even when a document was produced as the final meeting was breaking up, overnight the wording was changed unilaterally by the DfE.

“I will therefore be writing to the Secretary of State today requesting that he meets as a matter of urgency, with the NASUWT and the other unions which have reserved their position on signing the heads ofagreement to discuss fully these concerns.”

NUT general secretary Christine Blower says: “We remain committed to a negotiated agreement on pensions but these proposals will not, in our opinion, serve the interests of teachers or the education system.

“Michael Gove assured us in December that sufficient time and resources would be provided to secure a solution. The Government must face the fact that further discussions and additional funding are needed.”

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