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EIS muted on renewed pensions offer

An 11th-hour revision by the UK Government of its public-pensions proposals received a muted welcome from Scotland's largest teacher union, the EIS.

An offer by the Government of more generous accrual rates and a higher limit on contributions paid by the Government came as a wave of ballots on strike action was being held by public-sector unions, including the majority of teacher unions.

A review of transitional arrangements for workers nearing retirement age is also understood to be on the negotiating table. But there has been no movement on Government plans to increase the level of pension contributions.

A national day of action is planned for 30 November.

Drew Morrice, assistant secretary of the EIS, described the Government's moves this week as "very belated".

"The unions will have to consider these collectively and within each scheme. At this stage it is not clear whether sufficient progress can be made to look at the matter again," he said.

On Monday, the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association became the latest Scottish teachers' union to announce plans to hold a ballot on discontinuous strike action - at most one day every two months.

General secretary Ann Ballinger cited the Government's lack of willingness to move on its desired changes to teachers' pension arrangements.

elizabeth.buie@tess.co.uk.

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