Tag Archives: Pensions

Holyrood Education Committee Must Oppose Pensions Increase say EIS

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) – the country’s largest teaching union which represents 80% of teachers and lecturers – has today urged the Members of the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee to oppose the Scottish Government’s desire to impose a further increase in the pension contributions paid by the country’s teachers and lecturers.  EIS members have been writing to each member of the Committee, highlighting the negative impact on the living standards and morale of Scotland’s teaching workforce should the Scottish Government push ahead with the planned imposition.

Speaking ahead of the Committee meeting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “The additional increase in teachers’ and lecturers’ pension contributions that the Scottish Government intends to impose is, in reality, an additional tax on teaching professionals – not one penny of this cash-grab will go into teachers’ or lecturers’ pensions. It is shameful that a Scottish Government which claims to oppose the UK Government’s austerity drive and continuing attacks on public sector workers should choose to meekly replicate this coalition-designed teacher tax in Scotland.”

Mr Flanagan continued, “The 1.2% increase in pension contributions – higher than the capped pay increase of 1% currently on offer to public sector workers – will result in yet another real-terms pay cut for hard-pressed teachers and lecturers this year.  This latest increase would push the average pension contribution deduction from teaching staff to almost 9% of their pay.  As inflation continues to push the cost of living to record levels, another year of pay decline will be unacceptable to Scotland’s dedicated teaching professionals.”

Welcoming a Motion to reject the pension increase, to be introduced to the Committee today by the Deputy Convener Neil Findlay, Mr Flanagan added, “The EIS would like to thank Mr Findlay for bringing this important issue before the Committee.  We would urge all Members of the Committee to vote in good conscience today to protect Scottish education, and support the proposal to overturn this damaging additional tax on Scotland’s hard-working teaching professionals.”

Education Minister pledges to work in partnership with UCU

Mike Russell, Education Minister, addressed UCU Congress on a range of issues and answered questions on various topics including GCU London

The UCU Scottish Congress took place in Edinburgh on March 23rd with full involvement of representatives from GCU and with a keynote address given by Education Minister Mike Russell.

In contrast to last year’s Congress when GCU members spoke, but did not present motions, almost one third of the motions at Congress this year were from the GCU branch with all GCU motions passed unanimously after a vigorous debate. These were on University Governance, GCU London, INTO, and on the implications of the GCU Staff survey.

Branch reps also took full part in the debates on Scotland’s Constitutional Future, and also on an emergency motion on the next steps in the fight to save all our pensions. John Biggam, branch Health and Safety rep, also introduced and led a session on Health and Safety at work.
The branch mounted an exhibition showing the posters, leaflets, and other materials produced over the past year, and also had a iPhoto slideshow of the years activity.

Opening Congress, a keynote speech was given by Mike Russell, the Education Minister, who announced he was keen on strong partnership working with the UCU and others. Amongst the points that Mike Russell put to congress, was the government’s belief that the existing four year degree was not a weakness, but a strength, and had to remain the cornerstone of what the Government offered.

He also addressed Congress on a range of issues, and answered questions on various topics including GCU London.
On Governance, the minister announced broad support for the two recent reviews which he wanted to take forward, so that Governance was ‘Fit for purpose, accountable, and where Governors fulfilled their roles. When questioned on conditions at ‘satellite’ institutions linked to Scottish based universities, he declared that he would expect Scottish universities to be ‘a beacon of equality and good treatment, in terms of conditions at these institutions’.

A copy of the Glasgow Caledonian UCU bulletin about the congress can be downloaded here.

EIS urges YES vote at GCU for strike action on Pensions

During the week beginning 27 February 2012 EIS members should receive a ballot paper asking you to indicate whether you would support a further day of strike action on 28 March 2012. This action is being considered as part of an ongoing education trade union campaign against changes to the teachers’ pension scheme.

YOUR EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE URGES YOU TO VOTE “YES”

The last day of action on 30 November 2011 was very well supported and did persuade the Westminster Government to make some limited concessions. However, as its proposals stand, teachers still face paying more, working longer and getting less pension.

The Scottish Government continues to sit on its hands and make no attempt to engage in discussions on redesign of the Scottish Teachers’ Superannuation Scheme. Its only action so far has been to adopt and implement in Scotland the increased contribution rates being imposed in England & Wales with effect from 1 April 2012.

There is a real risk that the Scottish Government will simply continue to import into Scotland, without any meaningful discussions with teachers’ representatives, whatever changes are decided by the Westminster Government.

 SEJ Feb 2012For a fuller update on the current state of play on pensions please refer to pages 12-13 of the February edition of the SEJ. The SEJ can also be accessed online, together with other information on the EIS Pensions Campaign.

The EIS believes that the campaign for fair pensions must go on and is liaising with a number of like-minded public sector unions on a further day of strike action on 28 March. This will provide an opportunity to send a strong message, ahead of the enactment of increased contribution rates from 1 April, that teachers – alongside other public servants – do not accept the continuing erosion of their pension provision.

Your Executive Committee wishes to provide all affected members with an opportunity to re-affirm their commitment to this course of action. At the heart of effective industrial action is strong support among the membership at large. That is why it is important that you use your vote.

YOUR EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE URGES YOU TO VOTE “YES”.

YOUR GCU EXECUTIVE URGES YOU TO VOTE “YES”

Said Nick McKerrell for the EIS at GCU:

“The triple whammy on our pensions which is planned by the UK government is fast approaching and this will have a knock on effect in Scotland. By mobilising for another strike day, we can show our continued opposition to these attacks. You should get a ballot from Monday onwards –

Vote YES for strike action on March 28th!”

EIS may strike on 28th March

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), is to consult its members on taking strike action on 28 March 2012 as part on an ongoing joint trade union campaign to protect public sector pensions.  The EIS will issue ballot papers to its members next week and will urge them to continue their strong opposition to Government plans which would make teachers work longer, pay more and get less for their pensions.

Announcing the launch of the consultative ballot, General Secretary Ronnie Smith said, “Although the Westminster Government has made minor changes to its proposals following the national day of action on 30 November, it is clear that the great majority of teachers do not accept the Government’s plans for their pensions. That is why the EIS, together with a number of like-minded public sector unions, is contemplating further strike action, commencing on 28 March 2012.”

Mr Smith added, “While the Westminster Government has at least made its intentions clear, teachers in Scotland have heard nothing from the Scottish Government on its plans for their pensions.  Their only action to date has been to copy the Westminster Government’s imposition of increases in contribution rates from 1 April 2012.  Unless the Scottish Government urgently engages in meaningful discussion with unions, the risk is that we will simply have to swallow whatever is dished up by the Westminster by way of pensions reform. Scottish teachers deserve, and expect, better.”

It is expected that the EIS Executive Committee will meet on 15 March to receive the result of the consultative ballot and decide on their next steps in the joint trade union campaign.

The UCU is of course following with interest the outcome of the EIS discussions on this, in order to ensure that any action has the greatest impact in order to prevent further deterioration in members’ pension provisions

FW: November 30th – piping in St Andrews Day as the Security Officers walk out…

A message from Unison:

At the stroke of Midnight tonight, UNISON members will be walking out on strike. A piper has been booked and our security officers on duty that night will be piped off campus.

This is an important moment and I would love it if as many of you could be there as possible. We will be gathering on campus from 11.30 and start the walkout at midnight.

Looking forward to seeing you on the picket line at some point either tonight or tomorrow.

Kind regards,

Davena

Davena Rankin
Branch Secretary
GCU UNISON

A message from UCU

Defend Our Pensions

Join the STRIKE tomorrow
Picket from 8
Rally at GCU at 11
March from 11:30
Rally at Barrowlands at 1:15

Please come to join the picket of the GCU campus whenever you can. UCU will be picketing from 8am but turn up when you can. Invite your friends and family to the rally at GCU at 11am. We will be joining with other workers to march to Shuttle Street, leaving GCU at 11:30am. At Shuttle Street we will join the STUC march to the Barrowland Ballroom. It leaves Shuttle Street (off Albion Street) at 12:30pm. We will join the STUC rally at Barrowlands at 1:15pm.

Show the ConDem government that you deplore this unjustified and vindictive attack on public sector pensions.

Defend Our Pensions
Picket, March and Rally

The changes proposed to your pension are an attack on your pension rights – including:

Raising your contributions

Switching from RPI to CPI

Raising the retirement age

Possibly switching from a final salary scheme to an average salary scheme

All of these changes would be detrimental to your pension prospects. UCU believes these proposals are unnecessary and are part of a politically motivated attack on the public sector.

A message from Unite

Dear friends

Tomorrow, if you work in the public sector, you may be on strike.
Or if you don’t work the sector, you will know somebody close to you who has decided to take industrial action.
These are our friends, neighbours, colleagues. They care for our children, sick and elderly. They keep our nation safe and our communities clean.
But the government is waging a campaign of distortion against our public sector workers.
So, on the eve of this historic day of action, Unite has produced this short film. This is the truth.

Download the film here: http://youtu.be/-x2aPIBKkOk

Or watch here:

It is short, only 3 mins. Please watch it and share it with your friends, post it on Facebook or link to it on all your emails.
Don’t forget to also text your message of support to ‘86888’ and updates from where you are on November 30th, 2011 – it’s free.
It is time the truth was told.

Thank you

Unite campaigns team