Teachers in Palmers Green strike over school’s ‘attack’ on pensions

Staff at the fee-paying Palmers Green High School are taking two days of industrial action this week

Striking teachers at Palmers Green High School (credit NASUWT)

Teachers at a private school in Palmers Green are staging a walkout over what their union says is an “unacceptable attack” on their working conditions and financial security.

Members of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) at Palmers Green High School are taking their second successive day of strike action today (Tuesday 9th) over attempts to erode teachers’ access to a decent pension.

Teachers at the school are being asked to choose whether to accept a real-terms pay cut and stay in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) or agree to move into an “inferior” defined contribution pension scheme, which will offer less financial security in retirement. In addition, new staff joining the school will have no option at all to join the TPS.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT general secretary, said: “The employer’s proposals represent an unacceptable attack on the working conditions and financial security of hard-working teaching staff.

“The employer needs to recognise that its teaching staff are its most important asset. They should withdraw these plans and work with us to secure a resolution to this dispute.”

Ruth Duncan, NASUWT’s national executive member for north-west London, said: “Teachers at Palmers Green have not made the decision to take strike action lightly, but have been left with no other option as their employer has proved unwilling to listen to their fears and concerns about these plans.

“Our members cannot and will not just stand by and accept being left worse off in retirement at the whim of their employer.”  

Founded in 1905, Palmers Green High School is a private girls’ day school located in Hoppers Road and has pupils ranging in age from three to 16. It specialises in teaching art, design and technology, drama, languages, music and physical education.

The Dispatch has attempted to contact the school for comment but has received no response.

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