NASUWT Teachers Vote To Strike Over Pensions

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Members of teaching union NASUWT voted decisively to strike over proposed pension changes, despite urges from politicians to "negotiate".

More than 220,000 teachers and school leaders took part in the ballot, with 82% voting in favour of strike action. They will now join the mass walkout on 30 November, along with other public sector workers.

General secretary of the union, one of the largest in the UK, said teachers' had endured "months and months of relentless attacks" which had "taken their toll on morale and motivation".

"Teachers have been faced with a rising tide of excessive workload and a series of attacks on their profession, including unjust pension reforms, worsening pay and conditions of service, and increasing job insecurity.

"Patience has been severely tested."

According to Keates, "half of all teachers" had "seriously considered" quitting the profession during the last year.

But Labour leader Ed Miliband urged both sides in the dispute to negotiate.

"There is a huge responsibility on both sides, even at this late stage, to stop the strike happening. The unions need to show that they are willing to negotiate, the Government needs to show that it too is willing to negotiate."

More than two million workers are now set to walk out on November 30 for a day of action which will cause widespread disruption to schools, courts, council services and hospitals.

Cabinet office minister Francis Maude said: "We have listened to the concerns of public sector workers about their pensions and responded with a new generous settlement which is beyond the dreams of most private employees. I urge the trade unions to devote their energy to reaching agreement and not to unnecessary and damaging strike action, which is often on the basis of low turnout."