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Teachers in strike threat; Fury at plan to raise pension age.

Byline: By LUCY LYNCH Education Reporter lucy.lynch@mrn.co.uk

TEACHERS are considering strike action over proposals to raise the normal pension age from 60 to 65.

Leaders of the National Union of Teachers are doing a survey of member opinion on strike action - and if members are in favour they will ballot for a one-day strike during the summer term on a date to be set.

Secretary of the Coventry NUT Jane Nellist said: "Our members are extremely angry about these proposals. We have lobbied MPs and government ministers and they have failed to take notice of our concerns.

"The only choice left to us to take is industrial action.

"If the government gets away with this it will be guilty of stealing millions of pounds from our pensions. We can't afford to let them succeed.

"Teachers already find it hard to continue teaching until they are 60 because of the huge demands on them, let alone 65."

A Coventry City Council spokesman said the government had made a number of proposals in a consultation document, including the raising of the pensionable age of teachers from 60 to 65 years.

"The proposed changes would affect new entrants to the pension scheme and existing members of the pension scheme from 2013.

"At the moment the changes are still in the proposal stage. We have not yet received a directive from the government or been made aware of the final outcome of the consultation."

About 600 Coventry teachers in primary, secondary and special schools are members of the NUT.

At the moment teachers can choose to retire at 60 rather than 65 without affecting their pension levels, a direct contrast to many other occupations where the standard retirement age is 65 for men and is set to rise from 60 to 65 for women.

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ANGER: Jane Nellist
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Mar 2, 2005
Words:309
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