There has been a flurry of press speculation in recent weeks concerning proposed changes to pensions, information contained in submissions to the McCormac review and responses to the imposed changes to conditions of service. This Association only circulates leaflets and advice notes when we know the outcome of any consultation and the final decisions have been made. In the meantime I will attempt to keep members updated via emails and the website.
The Government has stated that pension earned under current conditions will remain and will be paid as final salary pension, based on the final salary.
Members will be aware of Government plans to increase employee contributions from April 2012 by 3%; and to move to an average salary provision for all public service pensions. This is a system which will involve index-linking each annual pension pot, and calculate the worth of the accumulated pot at the end of a teacher's career. Once the final decision on either of these proposals has been made we will contact members to discuss possible reactions. At present we are undertaking an actuarial review of pension entitlement under the proposed scheme, using data for the last 40 years. We are also involved in a UK wide debate about the proposed changes. Members will be informed of progress and of the outcome of the review. Any decision regarding our response to these proposals will only be made after consultation with members.
TESS reported recently on the submission made by LTS to the McCormac review, in which Bernard McLeary recommended reducing the leave year for teachers by 5 days. This Association notes that Mr McLeary is giving up his post as head of LTS and would welcome his return to the class-room. Only then can he speak with gravitas about the tasks undertaken by teachers every day. We note that once again the red herring of ‘promises made in TP21 but not delivered' has been used as an excuse for what is clearly an attempt to blame teachers for the inadequacies of others. TP21 was never intended to raise attainment but to recognise the hours worked and to make up for the reduction in the value of teacher pay. Attainment has been raised due to the hard work and dedication of Scottish teachers, not as a direct consequence of TP21.
It would appear that promises made by Cosla in their recent agreement with another teaching union were worth less than nothing. Decisions about the length of the working year for teachers would appear to have been made in advance.
This Association is committed to protecting the rights of all teachers in Scotland, whatever type of contract they may hold. To this end we will be actively involved in monitoring the position of members disadvantaged by these unacceptable changes. We are in discussion with our legal team and fully intend to test these decisions at law.
We request that members keep us informed of their position, and in particular of any detriment they suffer.
It is likely that no action will be possible until the new session begins. If you have any concerns about your own position please do not hesitate to contact us. In the meantime we hope you enjoy a relaxing and sunny summer break.
With best wishes