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Independents could join strikes on pensions

Discussion in 'Independent' started by gailrobinson, May 31, 2011.

  1. Thousands of independent school teachers could take to the picket line over changes to their pensions, in what would be the first ever national strike to hit the sector.
    More than 25,000 ATL and NUT union members who teach in private schools are being balloted on whether to take "unprecedented" industrial action.
    Teachers and union officials told The TES they are "very angry" over proposed alterations to the teachers' pension scheme, which would see their contributions rise by 50 per cent. They said they expected members to back the strike.
    Mass strikes would cause chaos for heads - more than two-thirds of teachers at prestigious schools such as Dulwich College and Berkhamsted School are ATL members - and could force some schools to close.
    What's the story in your school?
    Read the full story - Independents could join strikes on pensions

  2. Teachers at independent schools are is a difficult position. Most of us are upset/annoyed/outraged by the proposed pension changes and want to have our views heard. Two of the main unions, ATL and NUT have advised us to vote in favour of industrial action, including a strike day. Yet we are not employed by the government so it is difficult to justify supporting the action. Is it right to vote in favour of a strike but not to take part? Probably not.
    Personally I would like the governing bodies of independent schools to support their teaching staff by writing to the government. The government might even take some notice!
  3. The government wants to stop independent schools 'free loading' (as they see it) by being members from the TPS which is designed for public sector employees, so I doubt very much if they will listen to the governing bodies of independent schools. Neither will the government be bothered if independent school teachers go on strike.
  4. Maybe nothing in principle but in practice the maintained school teachers will be putting direct pressure on the government whereas the independent school teachers will be biting the hand that feeds them, and presumably some parents will vote with their feet and move their children to schools which aren't striking.
  5. Should add that the independent school parents can't do anything to ensure that independent schools stay in the TPS even if they wanted to (which I doubt), so independent school teachers going on strike does seem silly. Whereas maintained school teachers are putting direct pressure on the government which is in control of the TPS.
  6. I get the feeling at my school that the idea of our teachers going on strike is more to support their union and the rest of the teachers in that union, rather than trying to make a point with 'their employers', who are not the baddies here.
  7. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    If it turns out that teachers in independent schools are to be excluded from the TPS, fees are likely to go up, as private pension schemes tend to be considerably more expensive than the TPS. I think a fair number of parents might support independent-school teachers in these circumstances.
    For a one-day strike? I think that's extremely unlikely.
    In fact, the most likely date for the strike (30th June) is at or after the end of term in many independent boarding schools, and very close to the end of term in many independent day schools, so I would expect its effect on the independent sector to be pretty minimal.

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