Teachers' Superannuation Contributions (Increase)

Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th October 1952.

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Photo of Mr James Johnson Mr James Johnson , Rugby 12:00 am, 30th October 1952

asked the Minister of Education what information she has given to local education authorities and the teachers' organisations, regarding her intention to introduce a Bill providing for an increase of contributions to the Teachers' Superannuation Fund.

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Manchester Moss Side

I am sending the hon. Member a copy of a letter that I caused to be sent to the associations of local authorities and the London County Council and the associations of teachers last July. I am now in consultation with these bodies on the proposals outlined in that letter.

Photo of Mr James Johnson Mr James Johnson , Rugby

Is the Minister aware just how big a shock, surprise and even bombshell that this will be to teachers everywhere? Is she aware that they do not see any need for this proposed increase, and that she must have a very good case indeed before she will convince teachers that there is need for this sort of thing?

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Manchester Moss Side

I am certainly willing to discuss the matter and I have already been in discussion with the teachers. I do not think it is a surprise to anyone who has taken the trouble to read the Actuary's Report published in 1951.

Photo of Mr William Cove Mr William Cove , Aberavon

Is the right hon. Lady aware of the bitter disappointment and the declared opposition of the National Union of Teachers to this proposal? Has she not been made aware of that disappointment and of the resistance which they propose to put up against these unjust proposals?

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Manchester Moss Side

I have already had discussions with the National Union of Teachers, and I am hoping to have further discussions with all bodies concerned.

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

Does the Minister really think it is wise at this time, when she is seeking to attract teachers into schools, to apply what is virtually a cut in salaries?

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Manchester Moss Side

If the hon. Gentleman will look at the Actuary's Report of 1951, made under the previous Government, he will see what the requirements are at the present time to keep the pensions fund, as we want it to be, in a solvent condition.

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire

Could the right hon. Lady say whether her right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland is making similar approaches with respect to Scottish teachers?

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Manchester Moss Side

I think that that question would have to be put to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.