NUT: Teachers across Wales united against government’s pension raid

Teachers across Wales will unite in opposition to the Government’s attack on their pensions as part of a TUC-led day of action on Wednesday November 30th. Welsh teachers are sacrificing their pay to be able to protest against the Government’s plans to force teachers to work for longer, pay more and receive less.

NUT Wales Secretary, David Evans said:

“Teachers who have gone out on strike today do so with a heavy heart. No teacher wants to lose a day’s pay, or disrupt the school schedule, but sadly the unreasonable actions of the Government have left them with no option.

“The plans put forward by the Government will see teachers losing huge amounts of their pensions, significant amounts of their monthly pay and be forced to work for many years beyond their retirement age. With a pension scheme that is affordable there is simply no justification for this attack on living conditions.

“Every single MP that fails to support teachers and children in their constituency should feel ashamed and should expect to have their actions judged at the next election.”
Jennie Williams, an NUT primary school teacher in Rhondda Cynon Taf who will be at the rally in Cardiff, said:

“I am deeply concerned about the Government’s actions. On a personal level I am seriously worried about being in a position where I am being asked to pay a lot more in contributions, work years beyond my expected retirement age and receive far less in retirement. 

“I am also seriously worried about the state of education if people are forced to teach into their late sixties and beyond. Some people will be able to cope with that change but for the vast majority of teachers, we are worried that it will be unfeasible to deliver the right standard of education at that age. 

“Teaching is an extremely challenging profession, both physically and mentally and the Government is really risking a situation where ultimately, it will be children that suffer.”
Neil Foden, who is an NUT Wales Executive Member teaching in Bangor, said:

“I will be on strike not because I want to but because, like all other teachers forced into this action, we cannot afford to allow the Government to steal our pensions in this way. Like every other public sector worker on strike, I will be losing pay by taking this action but it is important that we send a message to the Government about how unfair their plans are.”

Garhard Williams, an NUT teacher who will be taking part in protests in Merthyr said:

“The facts are simple, if we don’t take a stand now we will be allowing the Government to take away our chance of a dignified retirement.

“What we are fighting for is not the gold plated pensions that the Government will ensure that City Bankers get. We simply want the dignity that we feel is deserved after years of dedicated service.”

Roberto De Benedictis, who is an NUT member taking part in strike action in Swansea, added:

“I am really pleased to have received support for our action from people across not only the public sector, but also from private sector workers. From all backgrounds, people recognise how unjust the Government’s pension raids are.

“To expect teachers to work longer, pay more and receive less without even reviewing what is believed to be an affordable and sustainable pension scheme, is nothing short of scandalous.”

Notes to editor;
If you would like to arrange an interview in relation to strike action please do not hesitate to contact Owen Hathway, Tel: 029 20491818. Mob: 07921146442 e-mail: o.hathway@nut.org.uk