Hemel Hempstead teachers sent dismissal letters in pension row – BBC


Teachers at an independent school have been sent a letter saying they will be dismissed from their jobs unless they join a new pension scheme.
Staff at Abbot's Hill School, in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, had taken industrial action over the proposed changes.
Paul McLaughlin, from the National Education Union (NEU), said the new offer was "inferior".
The school said it was working to "resolve this dispute".
In the letter, seen by the BBC, the school said it had "consulted collectively with staff representatives in relation to the proposed changes to your terms of employment and individually".
Due to not agreeing to the proposed changes the letter to staff was also a "formal notice to terminate your existing contract of employment".
The independent school teaches girls from aged three to 16 with fees of up to £20,000 a year.
Mr McLaughlin said its members were against changes to their pension as it would mean they would be "offered reengagement on inferior terms".
"It's a conflict with one side having overwhelming resources and the other side being innocent victims of those measures being deployed against them."
He said parents had offered to pay the modest increase in fees.
In total letters had been sent to "over 40 teachers" and "many have decided to leave", he added.
A spokeswoman for the school said it had consulted with staff over six months "which lead to significant changes, including the desire to retain the TPS as a benefit".
It had been willing "to listen and to compromise".
"Staff have been offered the opportunity to continue to benefit from the TPS, subject to accepting a 4.7% reduction in salary, or to maintain their existing salary and join a new defined contribution pension scheme", she said.
It will "put all our effort into resolving this dispute".
If the matter cannot be resolved, more strikes could be planned, Mr McLaughlin said.
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Private school staff strike over pension changes
Independent school teachers back strike action
Abbot's Hill Independent Girls' School
National Education Union
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