Sheffield Girls’ High School teachers due to strike this week over pensions dispute

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Teachers at a Sheffield private school will strike this week following a dispute about pensions.

Sheffield Girls’ High School teachers will take part in industrial action on Thursday, February 10. There will be a picket line at the school from 7am to 9am.

The school is part of the Girls’ Day School Trust group of independent schools and it’s set to be the first strike in the Trust’s 149 year history.

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Teachers at Sheffield Girls High School vote to go on strike over changes to pen...
Staff are due to strike on Thursday in a row over pensions.Staff are due to strike on Thursday in a row over pensions.
Staff are due to strike on Thursday in a row over pensions.

Six days of nationally coordinated strike action have been announced across the Trust’s 23 independent schools.

The proposed dates are February 10, February 23, February 24, March 1, March 2 and March 3.

Members of the National Education Union showed overwhelming support for industrial action following a ballot.

Why are teachers striking?

The Trust proposes to remove staff from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. The union says it would leave teachers at least 20 per cent worse off in terms of the annual amount they receive in pension payments.

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Toby Mallinson of the NEU said: “The decision by the Trust to press ahead with these proposals and to threaten to fire and rehire in order to achieve their aims is deeply damaging to morale and confidence in their leadership.

“Let’s hope that they see sense and withdraw this idea to win back the trust of their teaching staff.”

Chief executive Cheryl Giovannoni said the trust had been grappling with a seven per cent increase in employer contributions to teachers’ salaries, an extra cost of £6m each year.

“The ballot result shows the strength of feeling we know exists amongst our teachers who are NEU members in respect of the proposed changes to pensions.

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“We are of course disappointed with the result, but our priority is to continue working closely with our schools to ensure our students are able to continue learning effectively during this time.

“Teachers are central to our success and we value their incredible contribution and dedication to the education of girls in our schools.

“We are committed to providing our teachers with a strong alternative pension scheme, with a 20 per cent employer contribution into a flexible, defined contribution pension plan alongside other benefits.”