AHDS position on pensions

9th September 2011 at 01:00

In an article in last week's TESS I was quoted saying: "As far as any action up here goes, our understanding is that there is not a trade dispute here. Because that is the position, industrial action is not really an option." This didn't fully capture what I had tried to express. Adding "yet" to the end of the quote would have given a clearer picture.

I wish to make clear that AHDS is strongly opposed to the proposed increases in employee pension contributions. We are also opposed to elements of the Hutton reforms and are disappointed that the Westminster Government seems to be imposing, rather than negotiating, changes to teachers' pensions.

Those changes, once decided, will have a knock-on effect in Scotland. The Scottish Government will have to decide whether to follow suit or to do something different.

AHDS is watching this situation closely. Pension changes have been discussed at recent national council and executive meetings. Legal advice on industrial action has been considered. When the Scottish Government sets out its proposals, there may well be a trade dispute and, as such, industrial action would certainly be an option for all Scottish unions.

Greg Dempster, General Secretary, AHDS.

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