Teachers in the North of Irerland are appalled by a ‘work till you drop’ culture and will fight plans to incrageease the pension age, writes Justin McCamphill
‘The NASUWT has been at the forefront of lobbying our MLAs to bring amendments to the bill in the interests of young and old, those in work and those unemployed.
THE British government‘s dchancellor of the exchequergovernment’s, George Osborne, was full of self-congratulation when giving his autumn statement on December 5. The statement included new attacks on working people – in this case, attacks on the young, but encompassing everyone.
In particularly, the autumn statement also included attacks on the pensions of all working people. The state pension age was already due to increase to 68 in 2046, but the British coalation government has brought that forward by 10 years, meaning that people who are in their mid-forties now will not be able to take their state pension until they are 68. The Westminister Pensions Bill, which applies to the North of Ireland, also allows the British government to increase the pension age every five years if it wishes – and the British government has already announced that, if its plans stay on course, people in their thirties will have a pension age of 69 and people in their twenties will have one of 70.
My union, NASUWT, which is by far the largest teacher’s union in the North of Ireland, is appalled by the ‘work till you drop’ culture that is now the British government’s vision for the people of Britain and the North of Ireland. Increasing the pension age during a period of unemployment and the worst recession for decades is utter madness, as it reduces already scarce job vacancies as those in work are being forced to work for longer. The people of the North of Ireland have no control over the Westminster Pensions Bill, but they do have control over the Public Service Pensions Bill, which is due to begin the consideration stage in the assembly after CChristmas. The Public Service Pensions Bill equalises the normal pension age and the state pension age for the majority of public service workers in the North of Ireland, including teachers, health workers and civil servants. This means that young Northern Irish teachers can expect to have to work until they are 70 to receive their teacher’s pension – unless the bill is changed. The NASUWT has been at the forefront of lobbying our MLAs to bring amendments to the bill in the interests of the young and old, those in work and those who are unemployed. We call on our MLAs to stand up for all public service workers who dedicate their lives to serving the public. When assembly elections are next held we will be calling on our members to vote only for those MLAs who defend them.
With many thanks to: Justin McCamphill, NASUWT uunion’s NI junior vice president, writing for: The Irish News.
- Almost HALF of teachers have considered quitting the job because of workloads, pay and pensions (mirror.co.uk)
- NASUWT members in strike action. (northbedsnasuwt.wordpress.com)
- NUT and NASUWT trade disputes (northbedsnasuwt.wordpress.com)
- What next for the NUT and NASUWT? (emmaannhardy.wordpress.com)
- Teachers say no to cuts in pay and conditions (socialistworker.co.uk)
- Teachers threaten more strikes as talks with Michael Gove stumble (independent.co.uk)
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