Below is a copy of the consultative ballot email which will be sent to members on 27 February.
Important, please read this statement on behalf of the National Executive Committee (NEC) before you vote.
Information for members – Teachers Pension Scheme (TPS) consultative ballot
What is this consultation about?
You are being asked to vote on two questions.
First, do you endorse the decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) to reject the Government’s “final” pension proposals and continue the campaign against them?
Second, would you support further strike action beginning with a national one day strike on March 28th alongside other unions?
The current position
Following the 30 November strike we have been involved, alongside the other teaching unions, in extensive negotiations. These have now concluded with proposals which the government regard as final.
Although providing improvements on the government’s original position these proposals still have a clear detrimental impact upon UCU members.
The impact on UCU members
All members will pay higher contributions, an average 50% increase by 2015.
The majority of members will see their expected final pension reduce and normal retirement age increase
UCU’s actuarial analysis of the offer shows that un-protected staff with a variety of typical career profiles lose between 6% and 24% dependent upon service and salary, unless they are prepared to work significantly past their current normal retirement age.
You can see an estimate of the impact of the government’s proposals on your individual circumstances at our pension calculator and read the full actuarial analysis here: http://tps.web.ucu.org.uk
UCU’s policy, as set by the NEC, is to reject the proposals as unnecessary and unfair and to ask you to vote yes to taking concerted industrial action, starting with a national strike on 28 March.
Strikes last year such as on 30 June (with NUT, PCS and ATL) and 30 November were both followed by concessions from government.
For example, a typical lecturer with 20 years service receives £1,562 more annual pension arising from the latest offer than originally proposed by government, albeit still overall only 91% of their current entitlement.
The strikes also won protection for staff within thirteen years of retirement who have their benefits and normal retirement date either fully or partially protected. More details here: http://tps.web.ucu.org.uk
These concessions, while not enough in UCU’s view, show that when all else fails strikes can work as a way of persuading government to negotiate.
The aim of our new action would be to persuade government to reopen negotiations and then to secure further improvements.
It is a widely held view within UCU and our sister unions that to improve on the final offer will require a substantial escalation of national strike and other campaigning action.
The position of other unions
Teaching union NUT and civil service union PCS are also now consulting their members to seek agreement to a campaign of concerted industrial action starting with a national strike on 28 March.
Of the other main teaching unions, while NASUWT is unlikely to join strike action on 28 March and ATL has accepted the current deal, the Scottish teaching union EIS has policy to seek united industrial action with other unions.
The position of other unions is changing daily. For an up to date list of what other public sector unions are doing click here: http://tps.web.ucu.org.uk
The NEC’s position
The NEC recommends that you vote YES to support our rejection of the government’s proposals; and that you vote YES to take action, starting on 28 March alongside other unions.
The final decision must be yours. Please use your vote.