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Discussion in 'Independent' started by boatmanco, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. boatmanco

    boatmanco New commenter

    Are you in a non stirking union then or is it because you are not in the TPS?
    I am in a moral dilemma and unsure what to do.....
  2. greygaunt

    greygaunt New commenter

    This issue looks as if it could split the staff at my school down the middle. SMT have written to each teacher, asking for a 'statement of intention' by 4pm tomorrow. Atmosphere tense and worried.
  3. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    Our head has been very upfront and frank with us that he and the governors will support (but not pay!) any staff that wish to strike as per their union wishes. We have to give him at least 24hrs notice if we intend to do so.
    I personally have no intention of striking despite my union winning a strike vote. I have never agreed with striking and fundamentally would never do it.
  4. I heard that the HMC say strike is illegal in independents as the grievance is not with the employer i.e. your school, but the Government who is not your employer. Waiting to see what the unions say to that.
  5. It would seem that it has to be a trade dispute between employer and employee to be legal industrial action, which I think this is not. So it looks like we do not have to strike afterall.
    This would seem to have removed any way we have of making our objections felt to the TPS changes.
  6. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    This is a non-argument. In the state sector, the employer is not the government - it is the local authority or academy. Teachers in the state sector are going on strike because their employer has signed up to a scheme that is about to see a severe reduction in benefits.
    Similarly, if the governing body of an independent school has decided to use the TPS, the dispute is between its teachers and their employer (the governing body) and a strike is perfectly legal, just as it is in the state sector.
    Obviously, those who teach in independent schools that make their own pension arrangements have no cause to strike.
    But those who are on the TPS have every reason to legally go on strike if they wish, since it is their employer who has decided to sign up for the TPS, just as teachers in the state sector find that their own employers (whether LEAs or Academies) have signed up to the scheme.
  7. I must admit it did cross my mind that the state sector school teachers are employed by the LA (or academies) and so in reality they also are not in grievance with their employer but the government, but I thought that one could argue that the teacher's pay did come from the government and so they could be regarded as the 'employer'.
    I wonder if we have time to settle this before the 30th June or it might be spun out to avoid any strike action taking place.
  8. From the ATL website
    My school/college has not made this decision so why are we taking action against them?
    The dispute is with the secretary of state. Legislation makes it very clear that a dispute with a minister of the crown will be treated as a dispute with the employer where the dispute relates to matters which cannot be settled without the minister exercising a power conferred on him by legislation. Any changes to the TPS would need to be effected by changes to Regulations.
    In other words, although usually employees may only strike against their employer, the law provides that the secretary of state can be regarded as the employer in this case.

  9. v12


    Shame the strike hasn't been called for a couple of days later; we break up on the 1st July!
  10. 'Legality' issue cleared up. It is legal.
    But most seem not to want to strike at school.
  11. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Presumably they are happy to see their pensions reduced in value and increased in cost?
  12. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    We've been told that for non-striking colleagues, refusal to do such things as cover on that day would be considered as a breach of contract - I thought that in the event of a strike, we weren't supposed to cover for striking colleagues. Can anyone advise?
    (I should add that we do a fair bit of cover and hardly ever have outside cover, it's all done in-house, unlike what will happen in state school since the workload agreement took place).
  13. You are correct -you are not supposed to cover for striking colleagues - usually senior management step up and cover or classes don't attend.

    Difficult one though if private sector - check your contract carefully, I would suggest.
  14. This is the ATL's advice from their website:

    "Don't prepare any work for classes you would have taught. Ensure the application of the universal principle that no colleague should be asked to cover your work (and no temporary staff to be employed for that purpose ? this would be unlawful)."
  15. This is the ATL's advice from their website:

    "Don't prepare any work for classes you would have taught. Ensure the application of the universal principle that no colleague should be asked to cover your work (and no temporary staff to be employed for that purpose ? this would be unlawful)."

    That doesn't say if it applies to private schools though. I'd call your union and check.
  16. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    As others have said, union advice is that you should NOT cover for striking colleagues - this is a general principle throughout the trade union movement and you risk being branded a "scab" by your colleagues if you undermine their efforts by covering their lessons.
    If your SMT have threatened you with breach of contract, that's a clear example of bullying and your own (non-striking) union will be happy to take action against them.
    If you are not in a union, you cannot go on strike but you are leaving yourself open to all sorts of bullying techniques of this sort. My advice would be to join a union immediately and, if it is one that has voted for strike action, you will still be in time to go on strike yourself if you wish.
  17. We have been told that it is only a principle with the unions that non-striking colleagues or members who have decided to work rather than strike, do not cover for striking colleagues. In reality the HT can ask any one to do a reasonable amount of cover (how long is that string?) if it is part of their normal duties and the HT deems it necessary. If you are working or chose to work and you refuse to cover you can leave yourself open to a disciplinary. So we have been strongly recommended not to refuse, but to register our objections in writing if we want to. We have been told that if we do strike we should not set cover work for our lessons.
  18. WillowFae

    WillowFae New commenter

    Or more importantly, they are happy to get kicked out of the TPS and make their own arrangements (if their school doesn't set up a pension scheme).
  19. greygaunt

    greygaunt New commenter

    Or perhaps they see striking now as playing into the hands of the government and the populist media for minimal effect. This should be happening in September, not now
  20. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    With a company like Equitable Life, perhaps? [​IMG]
    In all seriousness, taking out a personal pension plan is a huge risk. Virtually none offer anything like the current benefits of the TPS and most have suffered a severe decline in value in recent years, with some not even managing to retain the capital invested, let alone making any profits.

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