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Union to challenge pensions shake-up

The lecturers' union, NATFHE, has been granted leave for a judicial review of controversial changes to teachers' pension rights.

The union is challenging former education secretary Gillian Shephard's decision to make local authorities and colleges rather than the Government pay for the cost of early retirement.

NATFHE, which is pressing ahead despite the change of government, is also challenging moves to stop people who retired due to ill health from being employed as part-time teachers.

Norman Jemison, NATFHE president, said: "The need for a judicial review has not disappeared with the change of government. We are challenging the changes which renege on the promise made to teachers that benefits would be paid immediately if they were made redundant from the age of 50.

"It's a shabby way to treat those who have given long and dedicated service and now find themselves forced out of their jobs. We welcome the Government's commitment to invest in education; that's the only way to tackle the causes of early retirement and prevent staff burn-out and job losses."

The judicial review will be heard on August 27.

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