Thursday, 21 October 2010

Teaching union leader: 'education cuts harm us all'

From Christine Blower, general secretary of National Union of Teachers (NUT):

'The cuts announced in the Government's spending review are a retrograde step and will have a devastating impact on vital public services, including education.

The Government may talk about protecting schools, but schools are not protected and nor are local authorities. Attacks are already being made on additional education funding outside of the core schools budget, with vital frontline services to schools being cut. There will be a real reduction in the education department's spending of 3% by 2014-15.

Pay freeze and pension cuts

Teachers are faced with a pay freeze and cuts to pensions which mean they have to work longer for less. The state pension age will rise to 66 by April 2020.

The Chancellor has also indicated that he will implement changes to the level of employee contributions that lead to a saving of £1.8 billion by 2014-15, equivalent to 3 per cent, to be phased in from April 2012. A 3 per cent rise in contributions will cost a newly qualified teacher £40-50 a month and a teacher on UPS3 £70-90 a month. Teachers will see this as a long way short of the 'gold standard' George Osborne describes.

There are alternatives

There are alternatives to the cuts outlined by the Chancellor which would not damage the country's existing social fabric and future well being. Education spending, like all public sector spending, is an investment in our future.

Everyone in the public sector will need to stand together against the vicious cuts agenda. There will be a national TUC demonstration in March against cuts. Full details will be posted on the NUT website as soon as they become available.

Get involved

If you haven't already, please go to to email your MP on the pensions issue. There you will also find photos from yesterday's rally and lobby of Parliament against cuts.

Let's all stand together against public sector cuts.'

Also see: Osborne slashes 40,000 teaching jobs


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