Commenting ahead of the public sector strikes across the country tomorrow, Brighton Pavilion MP and leader of the Green party of England and Wales, Caroline Lucas, said:
“Many teachers and other public sector workers have contacted me over the past week to express hope that striking wouldn't be necessary – that the Prime Minister would start taking their pension concerns seriously. Sadly the Coalition Government’s relentless attack on this country’s public servants has left them with no choice.
“We know that public sector pensions are affordable – this is really about piling the UK’s debt burden onto the people who did the least to create it. I believe that fair pensions are worth fighting for, so I will be joining the picket lines in solidarity with my constituents who have been abandoned by the other main Westminster parties.
“This isn’'t something I do lightly. I regret the disruption caused by industrial action and think it must only be used in special circumstances – and would urge trade unions to work hard to ensure support from the wider public.
“Yet when teachers are being expected to pay 50% more in pension contributions, work longer and get less pension when they retire – and when negotiations are failing – targeted and considered action is clearly necessary.”