Don’t Be Fooled: Why You Should Support Teachers


I wrote the following as a note on Facebook yesterday.  And then I saw the evening news, and decided it needed a larger audience.  The media seems to be state-run when it comes to covering the strikes over pensions, so much so that I genuinely think the majority of people are in the dark when it comes to why public sector workers went on strike, and may do so again.  Read on …

This week, I have heard teachers called selfish.  I have heard them accused of squandering children’s education.  I have heard lots of other things too.  Thankfully, I’ve also heard them defended by non-teachers, by private sector workers.
Don’t be fooled by what the government and the media tell you.  It is not the full story.

You may not be aware that teachers’ pay is set by an independent review body.  The government set it up to stop arguments about teachers’ pay.  Teachers have no right of appeal against the decision of the review body.  The government is not supposed to have either, but they, as we all know, think themselves above the law (whatever party they happen to be).

A few years ago, teachers were given a (low) pay rise, which included an automatic review if inflation hit a certain trigger point.  The government agreed to this.  When inflation hit that trigger point, the government changed the index on which inflation was measured for this purpose.  When inflation hit the trigger points on all measures, the government ignored the promise of a review.  Remember, this was not an automatic pay rise, simply a review, but the government refused to honour it.The government does not set teachers’ pay rises and yet announced last year that they would be subject to a pay freeze, without reference to the pay review body set up to decide these things.

Five years ago, teachers’ pension underwent an independent review and were subsequently reformed to make them sustainable and affordable.  In 40 years, teachers’ pensions will be self funding in their current format (they are currently subsidised because of the large number of older teachers, but this will sort itself out soon).  Now, we are being subjected to another assault on our pensions.

Under the government’s current proposals, teachers will be paying approx 50%, yes 50%, more into their pension each month.  Our contributions are already higher than those in the private sector.  A teacher currently paying £200 a month into their pension (and this figure includes no voluntary topping up), will be expected to pay £300 a month.  A whopping £1200 a year more.  But they won’t see the benefit of that in their pension – they will receive 33% less than their current deal, when they finally draw their pension, which they will have to wait several more years to be able to do. Personally, I would have to pay £90 a month more, retire seven years later, at 67 and receive £300 a month less.  If I were to receive my pension for 25 years, I would lose out to the tune of £189000.

Although the government and the Daily Mail are fond of suggesting otherwise, teaching is a hard job.  It does not finish at 3.30pm (sometimes a teacher is lucky if they’ve finished before 3.30am), and although there are plenty of school holidays, this is not the same as saying teachers do not work for all those school holidays.  I agree, they probably enjoy, on average, a bit more than the standard 4 weeks a year, but much of the holidays are spent marking assessments and planning new courses.

Before I was on leave, I taught 5 exam groups, all of which were taking different courses, all of which were on the first year through the course – so it all needed planning from scratch.  A lesson lasting 60 minutes takes a minimum of 120 minutes to plan – usually far more.  I had other responsibilities, so I only taught for 20 hours a week.  Out of my entire week, 2 hours were set aside for planning, preparation and assessment – this is the time the government allows full time teachers during school hours for planning, assessing, marking and evaluating for an average of 25 hours’ worth of lessons a week.

I was head of a department, and so had a lot of admin to complete, and I was given 2 hours off timetable a week to complete it and run my department.  I think most people would be surprised at the amount of admin classroom teachers are expected to complete.  We often said if only we didn’t have to teach, we’d have time to complete the bloody paperwork.

Teachers’ contracts do not set the number of hours a week they have to work.  Instead, they set the minimum number of hours a year a teacher must work, but also state that they must devote whatever time is necessary in order to do the job.  There have been many half terms when I have driven to my parents’ house so that they can look after my son so I can spend a solid week planning lessons for the following week.

Teaching is not something that can be done by just anyone.  It can be an incredibly rewarding job, but it’s bloody hard work.  Good training is vital.  And do you know who provides that training?  Teachers.  And they provide that training in the time they are given off from their own timetable – they receive no extra time to train student teachers and they receive no extra money for doing so, although the school receives a nominal fee for giving a student teacher a placement.

Teachers are not asking for much.  They want to be allowed to do the job they trained to do, and to do it without constant interference and criticism like no other profession receives.  And they want to be paid a decent salary for doing so – a salary which reflects their expertise.  We are constantly told how vital our children’s education is, and yet we are constantly undermining the people who provide that education.

Support your teachers.  The vast majority work hard because they believe your child is worth the effort.  They do a lot of work you don’t see and will never know about.  They often miss out on quality time with their own families in order that your children get the education they deserve.  They do it in the face of constant criticism in the media and often with poor support from their management.

They do their job – and more (do you know how many schools would grind to a halt if teachers actually worked to their contracts and did nothing else?  Those great after school clubs are not mandatory for teachers, and teachers are not paid for providing them either) in the face of increasing abuse, both physical and verbal, from students, and worryingly, from parents too.

If you value your child’s education, then support teachers.  They are not being selfish – they are fighting for the rights of thousands of people, both now and in the future.  If we allow the government to constantly grind them down, then before long, there will be no-one left to teach tomorrow’s children.

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25 comments on “Don’t Be Fooled: Why You Should Support Teachers

  1. Tina @ TechTools4Mom on said:

    Excellent post. Here in the US, I am torn regarding our teachers. Basically, I’m against the teacher’s union. Some teachers are outstanding, others shouldn’t be teaching at all, but because of the unions they still are getting paid. I hate that some of our great teachers are not getting paid more and that some of them have to spend their own money on items for the classroom.

    It is sad that everyone has to stick their nose into their job. They should just take the best and let them decide how to teach the kids and let them decide on how the funding is spent. Keep the government and administrators out of it. 🙂 Just my two cents…..
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  2. It always blows my mind that (1) teachers aren’t paid more than pretty much everyone and (2) that anyone could suggest it is an easy job. Our world would not survive without teachers, teaching and socializing our children while we work. The way they have a story about how awful life would be without garbage men, they need to imagine a world without teachers. I challenge anyone who thinks it’s easy to go on a class trip. You will instantly get over yourself. I’m in the U.S. but it’s the same story with teachers being under-appreciated. If they were paid appropriately then only the best and the brightest would apply, like with doctors and lawyers. You pay pennies and you get what you get a mix of the passionate and disinterested. Great post!!! 🙂
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  3. NoMoreLies on said:

    I don’t know where people keep getting this 50% figure from.

    According to http://teacherspensions.co.uk/members/members_reforms.htm
    in order to lose £100 a month, you’d need to be on £100k a year.

    NO ONE will have to pay 3% more, even the highest paid teachers. Teachers are angry because they don’t have their facts straight.

    • Unfortunately, your figures only take into account the rise in the next year, rather than all of the changes that will be happening. You’ll find far more accurate figures here:
      http://teachers.org.uk/pensions#

      Interesting that you decided to post anonomously, and even more interesting is your choice of name. I agree, it’s about time there were no more lies from the government; it’s about time they came clean about pay, pensions, league tables, academies, recruitment, retention, morale, because so far they have sold the public half-truths at best on all of these.

      No More Lies? Absolutely. But it’s not the teachers or unions telling them.

      • Natalie Thurgood on said:

        Absolutely spot on Mahala. The increase is 50% of our current contributions, from just over 6% to over 9%. As head of dept I’ll have to pay an extra £130 a month and I definitely don’t earn anywhere near half the 100k figure above. Yet despite this extra money I’ll end up with less at the end and have to work longer.

        • The amount of abuse my husband and I got yesterday via facebook was extraordinary. My husband is a teacher who earns less than half the £100k quoted above. As a family we will be £150 a month worse off due to the changes not to mention the impact from retirement. I don’t know what salary all these people are on who wouldn’t notice a reduction of £150 a month but we will certainly feel it. If teachers were paid the same amount as a child minder for each child per hour you would soon relise their value for money £5 x 30 children x 6 hours a day x 7 days a week. Besides if you are able to read this you have a teacher to thank.

    • Patricia Smethurst on said:

      And you know this because????? Are you a Teacher, do you have to put up with abuse from pupils who are not interested in learning because they have no intention of working for a living, abuse from parents who can’t control their offspring but expect others to do it.
      I am not a teacher but I wouldn’t do their job for any amount of money, (of course there will always be people who think they can do better) well actions speak louder than words – Try it!

  4. Natalie Thurgood on said:

    Great post. Thank you.

    It is also us teachers that are fighting against cuts that impact on the students we teach as well. Across the country teachers are being made redundant and class sizes are increasing, SEN pupils are denied the support they need because the funding has gone, schools are limiting options for their students and forcing them down academic routes that might not be appropriate for them because the government keeps changing the criteria by which league tables operate, local authority support is cut and replaced by outside consultants (privatisation by any other name) and meanwhile schools can’t make any plans past this year as the government are revising the curriculum yet again. If the general public knew the full extent of the damage that Gove is causing, they would all be strike and marching through the streets.

    We aren’t just protesting about our pensions but the general negligence of the coalition. And whilst we are abused by those who complain about the profession and other public sector workers, we are the ones who are desperately trying to safeguard the life chances of their children, or other services that are being cut.

    Last week Nick Gibb the schools minister emailed his propaganda to my private email account. Ive never given permission for the DOE to contact me at home. Work / life balance anyone? I’m regularly graded well as a teacher, as a head of dept I can demonstrate improvement in results and progress yet all I feel is disrespect from the government. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to join the profession under the current climate. Sad.

    • Kate Harper on said:

      Wow, you’ve summed up and pulled together everything I feel – but have never found time between marking and planning to pull together and share! Thanks!

  5. Great post and I fully support all public sector workers who are taking industrial action today. It angers me that private sector workers are quick to jump on the ‘gold plated pension’ bandwagon but they would soon be mightily annoyed if someone started reducing their wages and tampering with their pensions! You start any job and sign up for it agreeing with its pension, benefits, holiday entitlements etc you don’t expect those to be taken away from you further down the line.

    If I lived in the UK I would be driving past picket lines tooting my car horn in support.

  6. Firstly, I’ll put my own cards on the table and say that I am a public sector worker. I fortunately don’t work on a Wednesday so I didn’t have to make a decision about striking but to be honest, I wouldn’t have done anyway.

    At present I pay nearly 8% into my pension anyway, that’s before any of the planned changes. My sister, in the NHS, pays nearly 9% and a friend who is a policeman pays 11%. To me, the teachers have had a good deal because they have consistently paid less than other public sector workers and I believe they still will. I’ve always worked in the private sector until quite recently. I’ve never had a pension before because I couldn’t afford one. I got a small pay rise last year but my husband, who is self employed is actually working for £200-£400 a WEEK less than he was two years ago for the same company. He has to work a 6 days week and there is no upper limit on the hours he has to do. Like a teacher, he has to do the hours that the job demands. The difference is he has no pension and no pay rises to look forward to. He paid £400 a month into two pension funds. Both are now worthless (the forecast was for less than £8.000 a year) and he has withdrawn from them. We now joke that as soon as we are too old to work we’ll be heading off to Dignitas. I have no idea how we will survive in old age.

    My father worked for a multi-national company at director level until he was 67. The year before last his company pension was cut by 20%. This year he had to take a further 50% cut in his pension income. He was told it was either that or the pension fund would collapse. At the age of 75, my mother is looking for a cleaning job. Sadly, among friends in the private sector, this is not unusual. I just thought I’d share the reality of many private sector pensioners to bring a bit of balance to the discussion and, perhaps, a bit of understanding about why so many of them don’t support public sector workers.

    • The differerence is that teachers pensions have already been reformed so they won’t collapse. And to be fair, I think the pensions is the last straw for most teachers. Our contracts have been changed without negotiation, our pay frozen without reference to the board which sets our pay.

    • My father worked hard as a factory worker. Unskilled manual labour, yes, but he consistently paid into a pension fund throughout most of his working life; even when he could ill afford to. When the company collapsed, his pension was lost. He’s never received anything back and will now have to rely on a state pension, which barely covers living costs. I am sure you can imagine his feelings. Unfortunately, this scenario isn’t rare. Who stands up for their rights, though?

      I am in my late twenties and hoping to train to become a teacher. I do sympathise and I do understand just how hard teachers have to work. However, my belief is that many people have had to take unfortunate financial knocks. My partner, for instance, works in the private sector and is still on the same graduate salary he was on 5 years ago, despite bosses admitting he’s an asset. A friend (an Oxford graduate) works in the private sector and has to manage teams made up of higher-earning colleagues. Many have just quietly accepted it as part and parcel of the recession.

  7. Thank-you. You’ve put this far more eloquently than I could and I’ve been arguing with all and sundry trying to make these points. I’ve been keeping a time sheet this for this academic year (I have responsibility for a Y6 class and Numeracy in an English junior school) and I’ve already got to over 580 hours since September. I think I’ll probably hit that magic ‘minimum’ number of 1265 hours by early March. I often feel like I do two jobs – the administration and the teaching and I reckon that I spend about the same amount of time doing each job. I feel so undervalued and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work I need to do.
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  8. Kathy Timberley on said:

    Great article.
    Education is essential continually for all of us especially in the current situation where most people have no idea why public sector workers are striking. I really believe we should all show more solidarity towards our neighbours and stop the ‘beat each other up’ trend. We should stop saying that public sector workers have better pensions than private sector and fight for better standards for everybody in work and retirement. Standing together for all workers rights is the only possible way forward. If only more people with educated insightful ideas would stand up and be counted (perhaps in politics) we will all be better off.

  9. Private on said:

    Every point you make is valid. However, in the real (sorry private sector) world the pain is just as bad. Teachers and other public sector workers have not got it worse than anyone else. Final salary pensions are a thing of the past. Never mind pay freezes I know plenty of people who have had pay cuts 10% and above. No one that I know has any recourse on pay rise awards. I don’t understand your point on the pay award being dictated. People are in fear of losing their jobs, in fact I am involved in a “restructure” right now. It is a sorry fact of life that we must all share the burden of the economic collapse. Public spending is out of control, the private sector is in meltdown, the EU zone is in danger of collapsing, our financial institutions are at breaking point, our youth cannot find jobs, the cost of basic sustainable goods such as food and energy are spiralling out of control and it is raining outside. Forgive me if I hold little sympathy for your plight let alone condone your “extra day off” yesterday.

  10. Natasha on said:

    Well said. i’m not a teacher, but have spent the past decade working in schools and I can honestly say I have never met anyone who works harder than the teachersIi’ve met; without exception they give their jobs everything, they go well above and beyond the call of duty, their working day is longer than in almost any other profession, they work during their holidays and I dont just mean the time they are not in school I mean actual vacations. They work evenings and weekends. They are not just their to dispense information to their pupils, with increasing frequency they are expected to take a roll in raising their pupils and helping to mould them in to the people they are going to become. They take abuse from all fronts, from more senior management (that’s not a slate on senior management or even heads but the teaching profession seems to be full of middle management), from committees, from pupils, from parents, from the communities they frequently try to support and be an active part of. Yet they rarely complain because they truely believe that in doing their jobs they are striving to make our world a better place. And for all of this they ask very very little by comparison. I think a decent wage and a good retirement is the least we owe the people that give us so much of who we are. I know that I for one wouldn’t be the person I am without the teachers of my youth…and the teachers I have met and have had the privilege of working with in my adult life. They give so much…we need to stop taking from them.

  11. “Paying £200 a month into their pension”?

    Splutter!

    Sorry, but I’m a shop worker (possibly the most maligned and under-represented section of the working classes), and my take home pay is £953 a month… I’d imagine a teacher, even a low-paid one, takes home a hell of a lot more than me.

    Two of my closest friends are teachers, and no-one, least of all me, is taking anything away from the incredibly hard work that teachers do (rather them than me!), but the fact remains – to me, and a huge section of the public, teachers are already very highly paid (certainly more money than I’ll ever see in my current position), and do have a lot more time off (I couldn’t help a little ‘oh, boo hoo!’ at the paragraph detailing all the marking, etc they have to do – sorry, but I only get 4 weeks off a year. Not much sympathy from me, I’m afraid…).

    It’s just so incredibly galling that shop workers (a huge section of British workers) are so very un-represented in terms of unions, etc. I do heavy manual labour (we get massive deliveries), paperwork, orders, accounts, banking – oh, and working on the till, of course! All this and the customary abuse from the public (I’m convinced shop workers are the new underclass – thank you, Mary Portas!). Non-stop work from 9:30 till 6, five days a week. For £953 a month. And the aforementioned 20 days holiday. And the next person who says ‘the weekend’s here!’ on a Friday afternoon deserves a good thump: more than half the country works on Saturday and Sunday, you morons – who do you think serves you your stuff on your weekends off?

    Sorry to bang on, but I’m just trying to explain why, although we’re certainly sympathetic, it’s so very, very hard for certain sections of the working community to truly get behind these strikes. This was certainly a well-written and cogent article, but I couldn’t help notice that it danced around certain criticisms, most noticeably the 13 weeks holiday a year issue – “They probably enjoy a bit more than the standard 4 weeks a year” – understatement of the year!

    • Thanks for your comments. I just want to respond to some of your points.

      Before I was a teacher (and I am no longer a teacher by the way), I was in retail management. I know a lot about working in retail – the hours, deliveries, the public and the pay. I know a lot about working in teaching – the hours, the responsibilities, the students, parents, management, the holidays, the pay.

      I think you’re making the classic mistake that most people make – in some cases, deliberately. Schools may be closed for 13 weeks a year, but teachers don’t get 13 weeks a year off work. During school holidays, teachers still work; they just do it from home. If they didn’t work suring the school holidays, the work would simply not get done.

      I’m not sure you have grasped the extent of the marking either. It was not unusual, certainly earlier in my career when I had fewer responsiblities and only one or two exam classes, for me to teach SIX HUNDRED different children each week. That’s 600 books to mark on a regular basis. I’d love to say 600 books to mark each week, but that’s simply impossible.

      I can see how you think it’s gauling for someone to complain about paying £200 a month into a pension when you compare it to your take home pay. But at the end of the day, we ask teachers to do one of the most important jobs in our society, so comparing wages with someone in retail is essentially meaningless. I don’t mean that to be a slight to you or your job, by any means. I simply mean that without teachers, few of us would ever have got our jobs in the first place. We place a huge importance on education, and it’s only right that this is reflected.

      As a shop worker, you have the option to be in a union. If you have chosen not join a union, that’s your choice, but you can’t then complain about being unrepresented!

    • Natalie on said:

      Well said. The public really do treat shop workers awfully – try a day working in a shop with all of the abuse and heavy workloads and then say that shop workers deserve the low wages they get.

      • has anyone said they deserve low wages? And as I’ve said, I have tried it. I worked my way through uni, and then worked in retail for several years before retraining as a teacher. Since leaving teaching, I am now facing the public again, albeit in my own business.

  12. Natalie on said:

    While I have sympathy with some of the reasons behind the strike I have to say – as some others have already – that this situation is not restricted to the public sector. In fact employees in the private sector have been dealing with this for more than a decade. When I first entered the working world final salary pensions were being phased out in the private sector, to the detriment of many as the pension schemes that replaced them are by and large fairly awful. You also mention that for teachers contract changes have been forced upon them – again not unique to the public sector, within the past 10 years I have been forced to sign new contracts (with worse conditions) twice.
    My contract states how many hours a week I should work, I usually end up having to work anywhere between 30% – 50% more than this UNPAID per week in order to complete my work. I am not unique in this.
    My point is not that these issues don’t matter, but that these issues are not unique to public sector workers. The private sector have been dealing with this for a very long time, mostly without major complaint.
    It’s time that we all understand that economically this country is in trouble, and while I don’t agree with all of the governments cost cutting measures (I am by no means a Tory supporter), we have to accept that cost cutting has to happen. Every one of us is suffering as a result of the economic problems, the best way to do this is by pulling together – a bit of the good old blitz spirit! If theses measures in the public sector don’t take effect where do you imagine that the extra money needed to fund these pensions over the next decade will come from? How about a tax increase for the entire country? Would making the entire country suffer more really help? Maybe we could further cut military budgets, leaving our troops in war zones at risk? Maybe we could cut funds available for drugs and treatments on the NHS? Maybe we could cut all child benefit? Which group would you like to choose to lay cuts on in order to pay for a system that can’t for the time being pay for itself? The difference between public and private sector is that the public sector gets to demand that the money comes from elsewhere – the private sector workers just go without.
    I was angered yesterday when I went onto Facebook and discovered that many of my friends on there who are teachers were posting updates uring the day about how they were out christmas shopping, or home watching DVDs and so on. I really believe that if you feel so strongly about something that you choose to strike you should eally be on the picket line doing it properly – if you care so little that it’s just a shopping day I have to suggest that the issues are not as important to some people as they would like us to believe. I would also like to say that although I am a member of a union I will never choose to strike – I do not believe in it. My belief is that no government should give in to strike action – it shows weakness, on that basis, if the government isn’t going to give in there is no point in striking. I think it is obvious that a weak government who give in to blackmail is not a government that anyone would really want – think about it.

    My final few points – yes teachers do work hard, so do many millions of people in other professions, by trying to claim that nobody else works as hard as teachers you are turning off the very people who you wish to support you.
    Please don’t forget that many parents in this country who had to take Wednesday off of work to look after their children will not have been paid for that time off of work. As someone pointed out earlier who would’t miss extra money from their pay packet? How do you think these people feel with Christmas around the corner and a day’s pay lost? Were you really holding the government to ransom, or the hardworking taxpayers who are struggling to make ends meet?
    Some schools / teachers sent letters home to parents stating that as important as these issues are to them they feel that striking sets a poor example to the children that they teach so they chose to work in order to do the right thing by the children – I applaud these people for their strong principles.
    And lastly I was able to read and write all of this because my parents taught me – I was reading broadsheets before I went to nursery Thank you. My children can read and write because I have taught them. Both my husband and I play a very active part in educating our children, we do not feel that everything is down to the teachers and schools to do – please don’t tar us all with the same brush. While my teachers were good, as are some of my children’s there are other ‘teachers’ in many children’s lives who do it out of love.

    • you’re right – we should all be pulling together, but not by putting up with the measures the government is coming up with. We all know where the main problem has come from, and yet the government continues to let them get away with it.

      I’ll quote a status update from a teacher I used to work with (one which came long after she had finished marching yesterday):

      “I’m sensing a lack of support from some for public sector workers today. Particular venom is reserved for us teachers, with our long holidays, gold-plated pensions, our selfish whining and whinging when we should all pull together/be prepared to make sacrifices like everyone else/insert ill-informed, misguided cliché of your choice. But despite what you think of me and my fellow strikers, consider… this : We have some choices here. The government has chosen to claw back the money squandered by the banking elite by making the poorest bear 16% of the brunt of the new cuts and the richest only 3%; by punishing female workers and the very young – another 100,000 children will be pushed into poverty after yesterday’s budget cuts; by not taking one penny more from the top 10% of earners. We have choices too. We can tut, sigh, shrug our shoulders, have a little moan at people daring to make a fuss and then accept all this in that slightly smug, self-sacrificing way because we’re BRITISH and WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.

      Or we can say fuck ‘em and fight.

      Here’s to the next battle”

      I don’t remember ever suggesting teachers work harder than everyone else – but I have suggested that teachers work harder than a lot of people give them credit for.

  13. Stephen on said:

    Hi Mahala,

    Thanks for the comments – I understand what you mean, and to be honest I didn’t realise the extent of the marking – sounds absolutely punishing!

    I know I have the right to join a union, but let’s face it, it’s pointless – shopworker’s unions are absolutely toothless, through no fault of their own (plus, our head office has very kindly warned us that they don’t recognise any shopworker’s unions, although we’re free to join one. Cheers for that, head office!). I mean, when was the last time shops up and down the country went on strike..?

    I totally see where you’re coming from with this, but have to agree with the person who pointed out that some (and only some) teachers almost sound like they’re trying to make out that Teaching is the hardest job on Earth, and the lowest paid, and I think that that’s what’s sticking in people’s throats. If I see one more sob story about the teaching profession on Facebook, I’ll scream!

    Only an utter imbecile or contrarian would even attempt to deny the hard (and vitally important) work that Teachers do, but it’s also undeniable that Teaching, as a profession, is very well paid indeed. As for the holiday issue – I understand that you have to work from home, but all I can say is that for me, with my paltry 4 weeks a year off, it’s still hard to muster much sympathy, I’m afraid.

    Conversely, I’ve nothing but total sympathy for the Police and especially Nurses, Doctors and other hospital workers – if I were Prime Minister, they’d be the highest paid people in Britain! 🙂

  14. I disagree with the constant discourse of Private verses Public. It seems unhelpful, and appears to be the root of most arguments from both sides. However, for the record, for those that have bought into this distinction, I work in the private sector.

    I’d like to add a view: the government pays a teachers wage (set independantly) and from that wage the government then takes national insurance and tax. But it also takes pension payments too. So the “taxpayer” actually only pays the difference: wage – NI – Tax – Pension. For clarity, let’s assume a teacher gets say, £2000 a month. The government would say its costing the “taxpayer” £2000 a month for that teacher (this is an obvious lie) In reality they actually only pay around half that: £2000 – £500(tax) – £300(NI?) – £200(pension) = £1000. The money that is clawed back is money the “taxpayer” saves.

    Good value for money, I’d say.

    Now the pension money doesn’t actually go into a pension scheme like pensions the private sector can choose to buy. It’s an amount that is owed to teachers, but not paid. And remains with the treasury. That’s how the treasury sees it.

    In reality, that’s the teachers pension! A pension that was reviewed in 2005 to be sustainable and reduce the cost over time. It’s affordable and not a burden on the “taxpayer”

    For the government to suggest clawing more of that money back off of teachers is in my view theft.

    If my pension provider decided that I MUST increase contributions to ensure a REDUCED payout if I agreed to work LONGER I’d take them to court and win. But you see, the pirate sector is protected by law, it seems the public sector isn’t. So, they have my support and should have everyone’s support. Because if this sort of government behaviour continues they’ll be getting away with anything, which affects us all.

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