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Friday 6th
posted by Rory MacKinnon in Britain

SCOTTISH teachers’ fight against government plans to force them to work into their late 60s are far from over, the nation’s largest teaching union warned yesterday.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) delivered a blunt message to Holyrood Education Secretary Michael Russell over his widely reviled pensions rejig.

The SNP minister has already upped pensions contributions to at least 9.5 per cent of salary from 6.4 per cent two years ago.

But EIS president Phil Jackson focussed annual conference delegates’ ire on the ever-increasing retirement age.

Many Scottish teachers will be able to retire at 60 but younger ones have already been told to keep going until their 65. Mr Jackson warned that the latest rise to 68 was “a step too far.”

“The challenge is still there for politicians to explain how the education system is going to function in the future when teachers are press-ganged into working to 68 years old and beyond.

He warned “illustrious” careers could be brought to an “ignominious end” by capability hearings.

“The pensions reforms have been exposed for what they are, part of an attack on the public sector and a ham-fisted attempt to reduce a deficit caused by an irresponsible and poorly regulated financial sector,” he said.

“Politicians of all hues need to be left in no uncertain terms that — whether Scotland votes yes or no in the referendum — inaction is not an option.”