Teaching members of the National Education Union (NEU) and NASUWT - The Teachers’ Union - at Abbot's Hill School are striking today (Wednesday, January 19) and tomorrow (January 20) - and are also planning on taking industrial action on January 25, and January 27.
The dispute concerns proposals by the Governing body to remove teachers from their pension scheme and the threat of using the invidious tactic of ‘fire and re-hire’ to achieve their objective.
A spokesperson for Abbot's Hill says the school has met with the NEU and the NASUWT and the consultation is still in progress and no final decisions have yet been made.
The NEU says members are determined to resist the plans as they do not believe they are necessary, and they feel that the employer has the financial resources to maintain what members see as a crucial element of their reward package.
Paul McLaughlin, Regional Secretary, NEU said: “The employer has had every opportunity to resolve this dispute by talking meaningfully with the NEU (and NASUWT), however the fact that they haven’t even arranged a full governing body meeting until February speaks volumes about their intent, members deserve to be treated fairly and the Governors should work with us to resolve the dispute rather than ploughing on regardless”
A spokesperson for Abbot's Hill School said: "The Governors and Head of Abbot’s Hill School regret that teaching members of the National Education Union (NEU) and NASUWT have voted to take industrial action. The school has now met the NEU and the NASUWT.
"The consultation is still in progress and no final decisions have yet been made.
"Nearly a quarter of the country’s independent schools have left or are planning to leave the TPS because of the unrealistic and unsustainable level of employer contributions which amount to a 43 per cent increase since 2019.
"The school’s main objective now is to ensure that the best possible educational experience is delivered to the pupils during this challenging time."
The NEU Hertfordshire Independent Schools officer, Shaun Murtagh-Howard stated: “The forthcoming action should leave the employer in no doubt about the strength of feeling against this unacceptable attack on teacher pensions.
"Teachers want to teach, but the Governors seem determined to undermine members and proceed whatever the cost.
"Their behaviour is disingenuous to the school community.”
This is the second time teachers at Abbot's Hill School have gone on strike over pensions row, read more here.