Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why I am striking on Wednesday the 30th of November

I have taught for over 20 years in a great school just outside Southampton. In that time I have avoided all industrial action and have said I wouldn't strike over pay. When I became a teacher I knew that part of the deal was that pay would be below that of my colleagues in the private sector. During the boom times I received no bonuses or stock options. One of the compensations for this was a good pension. That was part of the contract the government entered into with myself and other teachers.

By breaking this contract I feel that the government is stealing money that will be rightfully mine. I accepted a pay freeze and may even have accepted a modest adjustment to salary during this time of public crisis but my pension was a contract. In time we will rise out of this crisis but by then it will be too late those pension rights will have gone forever.

The present pension offer is unfair in offering a better deal to those just about to retire and those on lower pay. Any new offer should be an across the board offer. My mantra as a teacher has always been that harder work leads to a better education and subsequently a better paid job. With this government the date you were born on determines your pension rights, hardly fair.

If the government allows me to have all the money I have paid into this scheme back as a lump sum then I will gladly stop striking. Changing the terms of a scheme you can't realistically get out of is called theft.


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