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Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Dame Allan’s Schools in Fenham are taking the first of six planned days of strike action tomorrow over attempts to downgrade their pensions.
Teachers are facing the forcible withdrawal of their pensions from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) to an inferior Defined Contribution (DC) scheme, which will pay out less in retirement. Teachers have been told that if they do not accept the transfer of their pensions, they will be dismissed from their jobs and reengaged on new contracts which include the DC pension arrangements.
We do not accept that there is any financial necessity for the school to undermine teachers’ financial security in this way.
Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said:
“Pensions are in effect deferred salary and so these proposals amount to a pay cut and reduced financial security in retirement for these dedicated and hardworking teachers. 
“This is particularly galling when there is no hard evidence that such moves are even financially necessary.
“The employer has resisted all our attempts to find a resolution to this dispute and so we have been left with no choice but to move to strike action.
“Unless the employer agrees to work with us, further strike action is inevitable.”
John Hall, NASUWT National Executive Member for Newcastle, said:                     
“We do not believe that there is any financial or budgetary necessity for Dame Allan’s Schools to downgrade teachers’ pensions.

“The proposal to leave the TPS and replace it with a scheme that will see a 40% reduction in employer contributions has ramifications for the continuing success of the schools. It will adversely affect the ability of the schools to attract and retain high quality teachers.
“The calculations the employer has done to justify this decision are based on a range of hypothetical situations, rather than hard facts.
“Teachers are a school’s most important asset and it is about time the employer recognised that and withdrew these unjustified plans.”


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