Thousands of teachers lobby today

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THOUSANDS of angry teachers, lecturers and support staff are lobbying Parliament today against the Tory-LibDem Coalition Government’s onslaught on their pensions.

The unprecedented joint action by seven leading education unions, ASCL, ATL, NAHT, NASUWT, NUT, UCU and UCAC, comes ahead of the multi-million-strong strike by public sector workers planned for Wednesday 30th November.

Education workers from schools in England and Wales, as well as from colleges and post-92 universities, will lobby their MPs and hand in petitions from their workplaces.

The General Secretaries of the seven unions will present a petition to the Department for Education signed by 130,000 school, college and university staff.

The petition states that the government’s proposals to diminish their pensions are unjustified and nothing more than a stealth tax on hard-working and dedicated staff.

Organisers of the campaign issued this statement yesterday: ‘It will be abundantly clear tomorrow that the profession is united in its determination to oppose cuts to our pensions.

‘Teachers, lecturers and support staff won’t stand idly by whilst the government tries to drive through changes that would be deeply damaging to staff recruitment, retention, mobility, morale and motivation and jeopardise the education of children, young people and other learners.

‘The fact that over a 100,000 teachers and lecturers from around the country have signed the petition and thousands are giving up a day of their half-term holiday to come to London to lobby MPs, shows just how high feelings are running.

‘This lobby and the large number of petitions returned should serve as a wake-up call to the government.

‘If Ministers don’t recognise that pensions are both affordable and sustainable, many teachers and lecturers will be left with no option but to take further action, including supporting the planned TUC day of action on 30 November.

Dave Wiltshire, National Secretary of the All Trade Union Alliance, told News Line yesterday: ‘While the trade union leaders are still seeking a non-existent compromise, more and more workers are determined to turn the November 30th action into a one-day general strike that will shake the government and prepare the way for an indefinite general strike.’