Lincoln teachers to strike over pensions

Lincoln schools face staff walk outs after the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) voted for strike action in a row over pensions.

The NUT balloted 40% of its members, with 92% voting in favour of a strike. ATL also saw a landslide in favour of striking.

Action will take place on June 30. The Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) is already planning strike action over pensions on the same day.

Unions claim the government wants teachers to pay more, work longer, and get less.

Central government is making changes to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, which would mean larger pension contributions from teachers. This will effectively amount to a pay cut.

Teachers’ wages in the state sector are currently frozen for two years, in line with all other public sector workers.

Ken Rustidge, Divisional Secretary and National Executive Member for Lincolnshire NUT, said: “NUT members in Lincolnshire are very angry and upset about these proposed changes to their pensions.

“The Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) has existed for 90 years, and for the last 70 of those years it made a profit.

“Costs are falling. There’s no need to change the scheme. There were already significant changes to it in 2007.”

He added that it’s “absolutely outrageous” that those who joined the TPS after 2007 will have to retire at 65 rather than 60, as it was previously, and that the retirement age will continue to rise in the coming years.

Joyce Frost, Lincolnshire Branch Secretary for the ATL, said: “Perhaps now the government will listen and get us round the table.

“We didn’t want to strike, but if that’s how it has to be then so be it.”

According to The Guardian, a spokesman for the Department for Education said the government expects to see heads working to keep schools open.

Photo: Mike Atherton