public sector pensions deal for teachers \is close\
Last Updated : GMT 03:38:25
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Public sector pensions: Deal for teachers \'is close\'

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Public sector pensions: Deal for teachers \'is close\'

London - Arabstoday

A union leader has said that a deal is close with the government on teachers\' pensions on a key day of negotiations. Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said that agreement could be imminent as negotiators meet education officials. A \"deadline\" of 15:00 GMT has reportedly been set by the government for union responses to its offer. But the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union said the situation was fluid and agreement was far off. \"It has proved quite difficult to find any ground in the middle, although we are still committed to try and do that,\" said Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS union, which represents civil servants. On Friday, the PCS union said the government was trying to \"bully\" it into signing up to changes to pensions, by setting an earlier Monday deadline. A statement on the pensions negotiations will be made to Parliament on Tuesday by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander. Higher contributions The government and public sector unions have been in talks to try to reach agreement on four pension schemes. They cover local government workers, NHS staff, civil servants and teachers. Up to two million workers went on strike last month to protest at proposed pension changes. More strikes are planned for the new year. Last week, the government confirmed it was pressing ahead with raising pension contributions next year for teachers and civil servants, even though there was no agreement with unions at that time. The Department for Education and the Cabinet Office said the changes from next year would go ahead, although further talks would be held about future arrangements.  

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