Teachers march in pay and pensions protest

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News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.
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TEACHERS were taking to the streets of Sheffield today as part of a national protest against planned changes to their pensions, pay and conditions.

Members of the National Union of Teachers and the NASUWT from across the region were gathering on Devonshire Green to march through the city centre.

A rally outside the Town Hall at lunchtime was to be addressed by NUT general secretary Christine Blower and other speakers from leading public sector unions.

The NUT and NASUWT, which together represent 85 per cent of teachers in England and Wales, are locked in a long-running battle over plans to increase pension contributions and reduce benefits. They are also angered by proposals from Education Secretary Michael Gove that teachers should be paid different rates in different parts of the country.

The union have agreed to step up their campaign and have not ruled out further strike action, following a one day stoppage held last year.

The Sheffield march was arranged to target the constituency of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, with a similar protest taking place in Prime Minister David Cameron’s Oxfordshire base.

Sheffield joint NUT divisional secretary Toby Mallinson said teachers were receiving support from many other unions.

“We are protesting about plans to make teachers work until they are 68 under increasingly intolerable conditions, and all the other attacks the Government are making on the education system,” he said.

A Department for Education spokesman said while changes to pensions were being phased in, there were as yet no concrete proposals for localised pay.

A report on the issue was due to be published in the autumn and consultations with unions and other parties would follow.