OK, So I thought he might have fun with the speech I made today at the Plymouth Rally....
I chose to work in the public sector.
I chose to enter into a contract with the government whereby if I put aside part of my salary they would give it back to me when I reached 60. They have chosen to break this contract.
I chose to come out on strike today to stand with my colleagues from all parts of the public sector in whatever job they do. I am supported in this by a mandate from the members of NASUWT with an overwhelming 82% of the vote.
Successive governments chose to squander my deferred salary and spend it everything but our pensions. Now it is time to pay out they can't and they are blaming us. So what has happened to the £470 million pounds there should still be in the pot and why can't they find it.
This government chose to hit the workers directly in their pockets and the pensioners directly in theirs. They chose to increase the retirement age, chose to freeze pay and yesterday chose to make the public sector work even longer, pay more, get less and in case we forgot, cut the promised 2% pay rise after the imposed 2 year pay freeze to just 1%. In my classroom 1% of nothing is still nothing! And they chose make even more public sector workers unemployed. But, unlike all of us standing shoulder to shoulder today, they do not have a mandate to do this. The coalition government's proposals are driven by ideology, not by evidence and not by economic need.
It's time to tell the truth about Public sector pensions. Its time to dispel the rumours and lies that this government has been spreading. Public sector pensions are not gold plated. After working with children with special needs for 36 years my pension will be less than £8,000.
It isn't even as if the extra £100 per month that teachers will have to pay towards their pensions will be going into the pension pot. It's going to be used to pay off the public debt which has worsened under this government. I did some sums the other day and realised that it will take all the extra contributions of all the staff in all the Plymouth secondary schools to pay one bankers annual bonus.
It may have slipped the governments notice but we are all taxpayers too. For every £1 spent on public sector pensions, £2.50 is spent on tax relief for pensions in the private sector – often as tax relief for the pensions of the 1% super rich. Now who could we possibly know in that bracket?
The fight for justice for working people doesn't end today. Tomorrow NASUWT starts the revolution, the quiet revolution and we will fight to protect pay, jobs and working conditions. We won't be stopping your children going to school or stopping their education or enjoying all the things schools do at Christmas like some sections of the right wing media would have you believe. You will see us taking a stand to defend quality education in our schools, quality education for your children and your grandchildren. We will be standing up for standards and I know everyone of you here will be backing us all the way and we can rely on each and everyone of you to support our campaign. We are choosing to stand up for quality state education for all, we are choosing to Stand up For Standards.