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Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester are starting the first five planned days of strike action tomorrow (Tuesday) over attempts to make teachers choose between their pension or their pay.

Chethams, which is the UK’s largest specialist music school, is attempting to remove staff from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) and enrol them in an inferior Defined Contribution scheme. If teachers choose to remain in the TPS they must accept a reduced salary.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“These unjustified plans are an attack on the financial security of hard-working teachers. The school is attempting to force them to choose between being left worse off in retirement or worse off now.

“Teachers are being told to effectively take a real-terms pay cut or accept a worse pension if they refuse.

“The Employer must withdraw these proposals and work with us so that further strike action can be avoided.”

Jac Casson, NASUWT National Executive Member for Manchester, said:

“We recognise that the employer is in a different situation to most independent schools, as they are largely dependent upon the Government in terms of pupil numbers and funding. Nevertheless we do not accept that our members should be treated detrimentally over their pay and pensions compared to their colleagues in other state-funded schools.

“We have made every effort to engage positively in talks with the employer, however we do not accept their claim that it is beyond their means to maintain teachers in the TPS.

“The employer needs to withdraw these proposals and work with us to find a resolution to this dispute.”


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