Scotland

SSTA union suspends 'work to contract'

Members of a Scottish teaching union have suspended industrial action over changes to their pensions.

The Scottish Secondary Teachers Association (SSTA) had been conducting a "work to contract" since May.

Union members were not carrying out any work beyond their contracted 35-hour week.

The union said dropping its action demonstrated good faith in Scottish goverment attempts to broker a Scottish solution with the UK government.

The dispute centres on the proposed changes to public sector pensions by the UK government, which the SSTA has claimed "amount to an additional tax on public sector workers".

An SSTA spokesman said: "It is the SSTA's position that the most unacceptable aspect of the proposed pension reform is the link to state pension retirement age and the SSTA will continue to campaign in rigourous opposition.

"However, the SSTA reserves the right to reinstate the work to contract and further may ballot for appropriate industrial action."

The union did however continue to advise members that 35 hours was their contractual maximum.

Alan McKenzie, acting general secretary, added: "It has been clear from feedback that we have had from members that by working to contract members have 'got their lives back'.

"Perhaps we should remind ourselves and our employers that teacher goodwill is finite and that the 35 hour week and arrangements within Working Time Agreement are reality."

The Scottish government has said it is committed to public sector pensions which were affordable, sustainable and fair.

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