The NUT is calling a one day strike and demonstration in London on 28 March as the next step in the pension’s campaign.
The strike action on March 28th is for NUT members in the following areas:
Barking & Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, East London, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Southwark, Sutton, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth and Westminster.
A central London demonstration on will be held on the 28 March. Assemble at 11am in Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY and a march to Westminster.
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said:
“The Government is well aware that teachers do not accept the changes that they propose to make to our pensions. The vast majority of teaching unions have not signed up to the latest pension proposals which still mean that teachers will have to pay much more, work much longer and get much less in retirement.”
UNISON respects the rights of other trade unions to take industrial action. Members in schools and colleges have not been balloted and therefore they are advised to continue with their normal duties and responsibilities on the 28th March. UNISON members should not take on any additional responsibilities being given to them directly as a result of the teachers’ industrial action.
School support staff should not be expected to provide cover for or take classes, where this would normally be done by teachers who are on strike. In particular, Higher Level Teaching Assistants or cover supervisors should only be taking classes or providing cover where they are contracted to do so, it is timetabled or part of their normal duties. Staff should not be moved from the duties they would normally have carried out in order to cover classes and frustrate the industrial action of colleagues. Members who are under pressure to cover should contact their UNISON rep, branch or region for further advice and support.
Members are reminded that due to industrial relations legislation only those employees who have been involved in a legal ballot are allowed to take industrial action. However, members are encouraged to show support for their striking colleagues by attending meetings/rallies outside working hours.
Official picket lines
Refusal to cross an official picket line could render members of staff liable to disciplinary action including deduction of salary. The exception to this is where there are genuine grounds to believe that crossing the picket line could put the person concerned at risk of injury. Members are advised that when crossing a picket line they should assure official pickets that they will not undertake any work normally done by those on strike. NUT colleagues are unlikely to expect UNISON members to do anything unlawful.
Health and safety
Members should not be pressured to provide cover on health and safety grounds to avoid closure of a workplace.
What’s going on with our Pension – LGPS Survey
The UNISON team involved in negotiating over the ‘new’ Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) from 2014 has been considering whether to propose a ‘low cost option’ as part of the new scheme. This would enable members to opt for 50% contributions – and 50% benefits – for future service. The option would probably apply for up to a maximum of three years, during periods of financial hardship or reduced pay and might also help those members not in the scheme to join for a short period before entering the full scheme. At the end of that period, members could either opt out or transfer to the main LGPS. We also want to encourage as many non-LGPS members as possible to join.
It would really help us to know whether you might use this option – or think it’s a good idea in principle – whether you are already an LGPS member or not.
Please complete the short survey and let us have your views. To start the survey, click here: