2016 October Retired Teachers’ Conference Report
Report of the Retired Teacher’s Convention held on 11 October at Hamilton House
By Marion Wilson
- Jerry Glazier, chair of the Retired Teacher’s Advisory committee, opened the conference.
- Dot Gibson, General Secretary of the NPC spoke about social care. She reminded us that the NHS was introduced in 1948 with the service being available free at the point of delivery but in 1981 the Government modified some illnesses as social rather than medical so that it became an LA concern which had a big impact on their budgets 2003 saw the Delayed Discharge Act and LAs were fined for keeping older people in hospital when they could have gone home. A means tested care system was introduced. There have been 30 commissions over the last 25 years looking into social care but they are still not fit for purpose. A recent Government statement means that only those with the highest criteria are now eligible for social care help. The 2014 Home & Social Care act says that those with assets over £118,000 will have to pay for care and a self funder pays 40% more than the LA. Personal budgets for people means they become micro employers and so are responsible for PAYE, NI, auto-enrolment pensions etc. This usually means that the older person opts for an agency to deal with things with consequent costs.
- Phillipa Harvey deputised for Kevin Courtney who was ill. She drew attention to the school funding cuts especially at 6th form level. Last year schools also had increased cost for NI and pensions which by 2020 will amount to an 8% cut. In fact schools are facing the largest cuts since World War 2. Some areas are worse off than others but we should not be taking money from some to bolster the needs of others. Only 6 % will see an increase in their funding . The cuts will result in fewer staff, larger classes, a narrower curriculum and an increased workload. The NUT is working with the NAHT on an indicative ballot on SATS for next year. Recruitment has gone down and there were 8000 less teachers in the period 2012 to 2014. On top of that over 50s are cutting their hours as they are finding it difficult to cope.
- Nick Kirby then gave an update on pensions The new pension is £155 a week, introduced in April 2016 after 35 years of contributions Teachers are amongst the winners since under the new system they can accumulate more. The old pension includes SERPS and graduated pensions as well as the basic pension. PSPC have asked for pensioners on the old system to be incorporated into the new one but the Government has refused. The triple lock applies to both schemes which will be 2.5% this year but it does not apply to all elements of the old state pension so the gap between the two will gradually widen. There is a review of the State Pension Age every 6 years and John Cridland has been charged with this task but it has been shown that 1 in 8 stop working before the SPA . Teachers now get a career average pension so teachers need to keep a record of all statements From next year P60s will only be available online