pound;5,000 pay cuts affect pensions;Letter

22nd May 1998 at 01:00
I read with interest the front-page article and leader on the Teachers Pension Scheme (TES, May 8).

In the further and higher education college in which I work, large numbers of staff are facing reductions in their pensions as a result of a college-wide restructuring exercise involving substantial pay cuts averaging around pound;5-6,000 a year.

Middle managers at least will be able to protect their pensionable service to date under the "stepping-down arrangements," but the situation for senior lecturers is horrendous.

The college is offering this group of staff a choice between dismissal (NOT redundancy) or a lecturer post with a pound;5,000 pay cut. The actual job remains the same, so there is no question of stepping-down protection.

The impact this will have on pensions, for both lecturers or their widowswidowers, and especially for older staff who have given long and loyal service to education, is appalling.

Yet college management and governors appear to be unmoved by the consequences of their actions.

The Teachers Pension Scheme will come out of this very well given the saving it will make on this group of staff.

What, therefore, is to stop other colleges and eventually schools, from following this route? The various teachers' and lecturers' unions should be taking this threat seriously otherwise pension penury will be the lot of a much larger group and the teaching profession will become even less attractive than it is already.

Name and address supplied.

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