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Friday 9th March 2012 | 12:02
Commenting on today's announcement by Government that it has ended negotiations with the unions on its intentions to impose proposals to cut public sector pensions, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:
"It has been clear throughout a whole year of negotiations that the Government has never wanted an agreement. This Government has always intended to impose its own views and cut our pensions regardless of the case for not doing so. The NUT has not signed up to these proposals and neither has the majority of the other teacher unions, representing the vast majority of teachers.
"The Hutton Report showed that the cost of public sector pensions is actually falling due to changes already made in 2007. The Government has never wanted to accept this fact and has consistently refused to carry out the overdue valuation of the Teachers' Pension Scheme.
"Asking teachers to pay 50% more for their pension while their pay is frozen could lead to the collapse of the scheme as many teachers will not be able to afford to stay in it, leaving taxpayers to bear the cost of State benefits. Making teachers work to 68 for a full pension is in nobody's interest, least of all pupils.
"We are still willing to negotiate an agreement but we cannot accept our members being asked to pay so much more and work so much longer for their pensions and receive so much less in retirement."