Just before the Easter holidays, we wrote to you with a warning that the Government was still intent on raising the normal retirement age for teachers from 60 to 65.

Because of the way that this would be phased in, its biggest impact would be on teachers currently early in their career. A twenty five year old, who eventually retired at 60 on the equivalent of Management Allowance 2 and had an average lifespan, would lose £63,827 from their pension compared with present entitlements. Someone currently aged 40 would lose £27,004. Anyone proposing to work into 2013 and beyond would experience some loss. Older teachers would also be threatened by some proposed changes to the ill-health retirement arrangements and to access to pensions on redundancy.

Teachers will have to work longer or be much poorer in retirement.

We urged you to join your colleagues in all the major unions representing workers in the public sector and vote for strike action to stop the proposals.

The good news is that the threat of such action worked.
The Government called off the worsening of the local government pension scheme that was due to start this month (ours is not due to be worsened until 2006), and promised “fresh talks” in which “all aspects of the Government’s proposals will be open to negotiation and discussion”. It has been confirmed that this offer extends to the Teachers’ Scheme.

We are not naive. We know that the Government does not want a major dispute in the run-up to the General Election. We also know that its preference is still to save as much money as it can by worsening public sector pension schemes. (Remember that the proposal was actually to REDUCE the employer’s contribution).

It would have been very difficult to proceed with a ballot for action on the original timetable. Other unions called theirs off before we did in return for what was on offer to them; and the law covering strike ballots would have forced us to call the strike before the talks specific to our scheme had actually started.

Our job now is to keep the Government – and all political parties - under pressure during the election campaign. We as a local branch will be writing to Bradford MPs and candidates asking for undertakings that they will support the existing teachers’ pension scheme. We will supply you with materials to make your own voices heard.

Our Annual Conference was unanimous that, if these talks failed to protect teachers, we would ask members again to consider action. Teachers have had the right to retire at 60 on a full pension for 80 years. We are not about to give up that right.

on Morley St.
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The School Teachers’ Review Body has accepted the proposals made by RIG ( a group obviously named without any sense of irony).
RIG consists of the NAS/UWT, ATL, SHA, PAT, and the DfES.
The NUT and UCAC are not part of RIG, and the NAHT has recently withdrawn its support.

These other unions agreed to:
! The abolition of Management Allowances. They will be replaced by Teaching and Learning Responsibility Points. There will be fewer of these, and many teachers currently receiving Management Allowances will not get one. They will cost the Government less.
! Ending permanent salary safeguarding. Any safeguarding you presently have such as a Management Allowance or a Head’s salary you kept after re-organisation, or you may need as a result of TLRs replacing management allowances will be limited to 3 years.

The implementation of these measures has now been delayed from September 2005 to January 2006. During this time there will be talks to discuss some of the issues, such as what exactly will happen to teachers who currently hold pastoral posts.
This means that schools should not at present be doing anything about Teaching and Learning Responsibility Points. If your school is jumping the gun, let us know.

The Rig proposals
– agreed to by some teacher unions – bad news for all teachers.



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