The Government is proposing to increase the amount teachers pay into their pensions from 6.4% to 9.8% of their salary. The age from which this pension can be claimed (retirement age) will also go up.
The arguments for and against these changes run something like this:
1) People are living longer and therefore get to claim more years of their pension. (I believe that in 1980 the average teacher only lived long enough to claim 4.7 years). This rising cost can either be funded by increasing the contributions made by working teachers or we pay the increased cost out of general taxation. Such a move would not be popular with the average worker.
2) Public Sector Pensions give a much better return per pound paid in than those available to the private sector. Why should this unfair advantage exist?
1) Teachers' pensions have always been in recompense for being paid less than their private sector equivalents.
That's the gist of it. Ignore all the political stuff that always gets dragged into these arguments, ie:
"The last Government massively overspent!"
"David Cameron hates the public sector!"
"Something about the bankers and/or Mrs Thatcher!"
We have a simple choice. Either accept the changes or go on strike. If we take the first option then we lose out financially and the second will alienate the general public and we will possibly lose in the end anyway.
Actually there is a third option. We could examine our contracts of employment a bit more carefully and stop doing all the extra unpaid stuff, such as the endless preparation and bizarre marking schemes. Whilst we're at it, let's have a mass boycott of Ofsted inspections. Maybe we could then try and negotiate a compromise deal.
It might work or it might not, but I think it would have more chance than a simple strike.