Belstead Brook Hotel, Ipswich
Wednesday January 18th 2012
The NUT, in common with NASUWT, UCU and UCAC, has not "signed up" to the document. These four unions cover around 80% of members of the TPS. Four unions - ATL, ASCL, NAHT and Voice - have "signed up" to the document although even that is subject to the views of their members. The NUT hasn't signed up because the heads of agreement still require teachers to
As a result of our strike (together with ATL, PCS and UCU) on 30th June, and with the threat of wider action in November, the Government made concessions on 2nd November, offering
The NUT was pleased that the Government had recognised the need to make concessions. However, as we pointed out then, every member would still be thousands of pounds out of pocket from higher contributions and CPI indexation; and the 75% of NUT members not covered by protection would still have to work longer to get a full pension.
Didn't The Government Make Further Concessions Just Before Christmas? No. The Government simply proposed some different ways of using the money available for teachers' pensions. Crucially, the "cost ceiling" remained the same as on 2nd November - no more money has been found to solve the dispute.
The accrual rate (the amount of pension earned each year) has been improved marginally to 1/57 of pay and the reduction in pension for those retiring earlier than the normal pension age has been cut slightly. This was accompanied, however, by changes in the way your new "career average pension" is calculated - the pension you earn will no longer be indexed to earnings until you retire. This change finances the improvements made.
Another negative change between 2nd November and Christmas was that the Chancellor brought forward by 10 years the date for pension ages rising to 67. This just illustrates how, in the proposed new scheme, you will never be able to be certain what your retirement age is.
The changes to pension ages aren't scheduled to start until 2015 and we intend to use every moment to convince politicians and the general public that they are unfair. Teachers can't work to 68. The Government still hasn't carried out a valuation of the TPS, so there is no evidence that higher contributions are needed. In any case, your increased contributions will go to the Treasury not to teachers' pensions. The change for RPI to CPI is all about saving Government money, not about a fairer means of managing pension increases.
Circulars from HQ, etc:
Assistant Secretary's Report
Date of next meeting: March 7th 2012 (AGM)