NUT: “The Government’s war on public sector workers is causing serious economic problems”

Commenting on the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget Speech, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The Government’s war on public sector workers is causing serious economic problems.  Attacks on public sector pay levels and pay progression drain demand from the economy, forcing living standards down even further as the economy stagnates.  As we have said consistently, investing in the public sector including education is key to economic growth and prosperity."  

"The Government’s dreadful record on growth is testament to these truths.  George Osborne has even failed his own economic tests, yet offers only more of the same. The IMF and others have criticised the Government’s austerity measures and their damaging consequences.  As a society we are paying a high price for these dogma-driven attacks on the public sector."

“Education is high on the Government’s hit list.  Schools and colleges have not been ‘protected’ as the Government claims, but have suffered significant real terms funding cuts.  Tuition fees have been trebled, the Education Maintenance Allowance has been cut, sixth form colleges’ funding is being cut by almost a fifth and the limited programme to rebuild schools in great disrepair has ground to a halt.  Youth unemployment is rising again."

“Teachers have already seen their pay frozen, in addition to significant cuts in take-home pay due to the increase in pension contributions.  With the extension of the Government’s 1% pay cap for another year alongside persistently high inflation, teachers now face an even longer period of on-going real terms pay cuts.  Teachers also face attempts by Michael Gove to dismantle the national pay structure.  These changes are a deliberate attempt to reduce the value of teacher pay – another attack on teachers, undermining fairness and threatening future teacher supply.  The NUT and NASUWT campaign to Protect Teachers and Defend Education shows that we are determined to resist these reckless attacks on our living standards and economic future.”

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For further information contact Caroline Cowie on 0207 380 4706 or 07879480061