Holyrood Education Committee Must Oppose Pensions Increase say EIS

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) – the country’s largest teaching union which represents 80% of teachers and lecturers – has today urged the Members of the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee to oppose the Scottish Government’s desire to impose a further increase in the pension contributions paid by the country’s teachers and lecturers.  EIS members have been writing to each member of the Committee, highlighting the negative impact on the living standards and morale of Scotland’s teaching workforce should the Scottish Government push ahead with the planned imposition.

Speaking ahead of the Committee meeting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “The additional increase in teachers’ and lecturers’ pension contributions that the Scottish Government intends to impose is, in reality, an additional tax on teaching professionals – not one penny of this cash-grab will go into teachers’ or lecturers’ pensions. It is shameful that a Scottish Government which claims to oppose the UK Government’s austerity drive and continuing attacks on public sector workers should choose to meekly replicate this coalition-designed teacher tax in Scotland.”

Mr Flanagan continued, “The 1.2% increase in pension contributions – higher than the capped pay increase of 1% currently on offer to public sector workers – will result in yet another real-terms pay cut for hard-pressed teachers and lecturers this year.  This latest increase would push the average pension contribution deduction from teaching staff to almost 9% of their pay.  As inflation continues to push the cost of living to record levels, another year of pay decline will be unacceptable to Scotland’s dedicated teaching professionals.”

Welcoming a Motion to reject the pension increase, to be introduced to the Committee today by the Deputy Convener Neil Findlay, Mr Flanagan added, “The EIS would like to thank Mr Findlay for bringing this important issue before the Committee.  We would urge all Members of the Committee to vote in good conscience today to protect Scottish education, and support the proposal to overturn this damaging additional tax on Scotland’s hard-working teaching professionals.”

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