Scottish primary heads to ballot on strike

Headteachers and deputies at primary schools across Scotland are being balloted on industrial action in response to changes to their pension.

The AHDS union said its 1,400 members were "horrified" by the UK government pension proposals.

They said the plans would mean members would have to pay more, work longer and get less in retirement.

AHDS general secretary Greg Dempster said it was the first time the union had held a strike ballot.

The ballot will be with members on 25 October and will close at noon on 3 November, in time for the union's AGM.

Mr Dempster told BBC Scotland: "The Scottish government has made clear that it will follow what the UK government does in relation to pensions.

"It says it is opposed to the increase in employee pension contributions but that it has no option as it would incur significant costs.

"If the Scottish Government truly believes that the increase in contributions is wrong then it could take the decision to spend in this area as opposed to others.

"Any policy decision has financial implications, this one is no different."

Education Secretary Michael Russell said: "The Scottish government has made it clear we do not agree with the UK government's proposed changes to public sector pensions.

"Given the scale of financial penalties threatened, we have no choice but to consult on the implementation of the changes.

"I understand the concerns of teachers and head teachers, however I do not think industrial action is in the best interests of Scottish education or pupils and parents."

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