Pension dismay

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AS YOU will know both the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers have voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action in defence of teachers’ pensions.

The arguments against the general trend of the changes have been well made by union representatives in the national press and require no further repetition here.

There is an extra element in the proposals which has not been given widespread publicity which affects us directly – the proposed exclusion of teachers in the independent sector from the benefits of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

We are extremely disappointed that Horsham MP Francis Maude, a regular visitor to Christ’s Hospital who claims to be a friend of the school, has taken a position in the forefront of the Government’s campaign against reasonable pension arrangements for Christ’s Hospital teachers as well as other public sector workers.

Because of the peculiar nature of boarding education, neither of our teaching unions is advocating all-out strikes in school such as ours.

However we would like to publicise the strong feelings of a large number of staff at Christ’s Hospital who are deeply dismayed by the Government’s proposals and by their unwillingness to display any meaningful flexibility on the pensions issue.

Our school will not be closing on June 30, but we hope that it will be understood that many individuals who work at the school will find other ways to make their voices heard.

We intend to write to Francis Maude directly to express our opposition to the Government’s plans in this area, as well as contributing to the hardship funds set up by the unions to assist young teachers who will be withdrawing their labour from day and state schools on June 30.

STEPHEN WALSH (Staff ATL representative)

KEVIN HANNAVY (Staff NUT representative)

Christ’s Hospital