We detected you haven’t selected to personalise the site.

Please select a preference

Staff at an independent school were able to protect their Teachers’ Pension Scheme through a strong show of unity.

Teachers at the school were presented with a stark choice – leave the TPS and join a private pension scheme, or take a pay cut to cover the increasing costs of the TPS.

The school’s proposal came as a huge blow to staff, who had been working hard to deliver high quality remote education during the coronavirus lockdown.

“It was a total shock,” said an NASUWT Rep at the school. “We could not believe they were actually doing this to us.

“They had given us this really bad news with regards to our futures, which for many of us were already uncertain.

“We have a lot of teachers whose spouses have been furloughed during the coronavirus pandemic and undergone financial hardship.”

The teachers were given a booklet on the school’s proposal for pension changes and a consultation period began.

At that time the roles for NASUWT Reps at the school were vacant, but concerned members quickly stepped up to take on the responsibility.

They rallied their colleagues, sought support from their Regional Office, and worked closely with other unions represented at the school.

Members decided to ballot for strike action and union representatives met with the chair of governors.

The Rep said: “We felt that we were ready to fight for the TPS, because it is so important.

“We have lots of young teachers who have just started their careers and joined the TPS.

“Now they were being told they wouldn’t be given the same benefits as other teachers in the state sector.

“We also have older colleagues near retirement who would have lost a lot of money under the proposed changes.

“There were so many individuals that we were concerned about.

“In the end, we felt that they could force these changes on us, because we were obviously going to strike and that would have been really bad for the school.”

Soon after being informed about the ballot for strike action, school leaders decided to drop the proposal for pension changes completely.

Another Rep at the school said: “We would encourage anyone going through this to get your union involved straight away.

“The NASUWT Regional Organiser was so knowledgeable, experienced and level-headed that we trusted him completely.

“Everything he said to us was completely borne out in the outcome.

“We were amazed and delighted to stay in the TPS, and without the advice and action taken we would now be in a very different position.”

Teachers working at independent schools have been at risk of losing their TPS since employer contributions rose in September 2019.

The Government is covering these extra costs for state schools, but private schools must fund the increased contributions themselves.

In November 2020, the Government also announced that independent schools in England and Wales will be able to opt out of the TPS for future members of staff.


Please confirm

Please login

Please login

To use this feature you need to be logged in, please login now to continue