‘Pensions Bill marks a bad day for young teachers’ – Rogers
SDLP Education Spokesperson and South Down MLA Seán Rogers has said that the Public Service Pensions Bill represents a bad deal for teachers, young and old, and that his party was right to oppose it.
Speaking after the vote in the Assembly, Rogers said, “Since day one of this bill, the SDLP has fully engaged with workers, their Unions and others who will be affected by the legislation.
“We have attempted to bring reasoned amendments which would represent the best deal for the 230,000 public servants who will lose out as a result of the ill-judged, Tory inspired proposal. Unfortunately the call of reason has fallen on deaf ears and some of our hardest working will be the greatest victims.
“Chief amongst those failed by the legislation will be our teachers. With the pension age increasing to 68 some of our longest serving educators, who have dedicated their lives to our young people, will be forced to work for years longer to reach their pension,” he insisted.
“Rather than recognising their immense contribution this bill shackles them to a job that previously they considered a vocation. But on the flip side of that is an even more worrying prospect. With more teachers forced to work much longer, the opportunities for our young teachers will become even more thin on the ground.
“Our teaching colleges produce some of the best young educators around but the chronic lack of employment opportunities forces them to leave our shores to find a livelihood. This bill can only make that situation worse. That situation is intolerable.
Rogers added, “This bill fails our young and more experienced teachers alike. It represents a bad deal for public servants and the SDLP was right to stand with those workers in opposition to it.”
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