MP says strike action is ‘absolutely unjustifiable’

Horsham MP Francis Maude

Horsham MP Francis Maude

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HORSHAM’S MP Francis Maude has said strike action by teachers is ‘absolutely unjustifiable’.

Mr Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, told BBC Breakfast today (Thursday): “Talks are still going on. We met on Monday and we are meeting again next week with the trade unions to talk about how to resolve all this.

“It is absolutely unjustifiable for parents up and down the country to be inconvenienced like this, forced to lose a day’s work when they are trying to earn money to pay the taxes.

“People are really going to be scratching their heads, wondering why teachers and some civil servants are going on strike while discussions are still going on.”

A statement from West Sussex Teachers’ Association said: “Strike action is not a move that any teacher or head teacher takes lightly. Educating our pupils is the most important aspect of our working life.

“We take action to protect the quality of education in West Sussex, because if the Government’s proposals go through teachers will drop out of the pension scheme, potentially making it unviable. Teaching will become a less attractive profession and it will ultimately be pupils who suffer.

“We realise that as teachers we are not the only people who are facing huge threats to our pensions and jobs. We are also aware that many workers in the private sector do not have adequate pension provision and this is an issue the Government needs to address.

“But the teachers’ scheme has been well managed over the years, and recently changes were made to take into account the ageing population and to enable costs to reduce over the next 50 years. These reforms are working well.

“Cutting public sector pensions will just make more pensioners poorer and put the cost of supporting them onto the State and taxpayers.

“We are frustrated that after months of talks with Ministers, the Government looks determined to go ahead with its proposals to make us pay more, work longer and get less for our pensions.”

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