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Scotland’s teaching union threaten strike action over pensions

Scotland's teaching unions have issued a strike warning

Scotland's teaching unions have issued a strike warning

  • by CHRIS MARSHALL
 

THE two largest unions representing Scotland’s teachers have threatened fresh industrial action unless the Scottish Government “stops stalling” over pension talks.

• Unions pushing for Scottish Goverment to apply pressure to its UK counterpart

Both the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) and the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA) said they were becoming increasingly frustrated about the government’s failure to resolve the situation.

While pension reform is a matter resolved for Westminster, unions had hoped the Scottish Government would intervene to come up with a more acceptable solution north of the Border.

Teachers claim public sector pension reforms will see them working longer, contributing more and receiving less.

The EIS said it was considering its “next steps” after the Scottish Government cancelled a pensions negotiating meeting scheduled for yesterday.

The union’s general secretary, Larry Flanagan, said: “It is time for the Scottish Government to lay its cards on the table and bring forward concrete proposals to Scotland’s teaching profession on the future of their pension scheme.

“In March the EIS took the decision to hold back from further industrial action on pensions in order to enter into pension scheme discussions with the Scottish Government. Having entered into these negotiations in good faith, teaching professionals have every right to expect a firm proposal from the Scottish Government.However, after many months of talks, no offer has yet been made and no response given to the teacher side proposals to protect 65 as the normal age for retirement. Frankly, the patience of the teaching profession is becoming increasingly thin.

“We see no point in returning to negotiations unless the Scottish Government is prepared to engage with the process. The message to John Swinney and Mike Russell is clear – stop stalling and produce a meaningful offer on pensions, or face a return to industrial action by Scotland’s teachers.”

Alan McKenzie, acting general secretary of the SSTA, added: “This association suspended its industrial action to demonstrate its good faith with the Scottish Government. We now have another cancellation of an important meeting. I think it is now time for the Scottish Government to put up or shut up. We have acted in good faith and expect more than prevarication in return “

 

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