Wales

Teachers from Wales join protest outside Parliament

Teachers and lecturers from Wales gathered outside Parliament to join a protest against pension cuts.

The action on Wednesday was part of a joint campaign by seven education unions, and organisers wanted every school, college and university in Wales and England to be represented.

Unions have not ruled out strike action if the UK government continues to erode pensions.

The UK government says change is needed to ensure pensions remain sustainable.

Thousands of teachers, lecturers and support staff took part in the protest.

A petition with more than 130,000 names was handed to the Department of Education, before unions were meeting MPs.

Approximately £35,000 loss

Owen Hathway, Wales policy officer for the union NUT Cymru, said the average new entrant teacher in Wales would lose up to £80 a month under the proposed system.

He added: "At the end of it, we're looking at teachers who would otherwise retire at 60, retiring at 68, receiving - if they're lucky - the same pension that they would normally receive.

"For a teacher of an average 25-year retirement, that's approximately a £35,000 loss."

Industrial action has already been held across Wales and England.

The most recent in Wales saw more than 300 schools closed fully or partially as members of teaching union Ucac staged a walkout.

That action was criticised by Prime Minister David Cameron.

The union said it hoped further action could be avoided, but added "that's in the government's hands now".

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