Created on: 04 May 2023
Teachers at Hutchesons’ Grammar School, an independent school in Glasgow, have voted strongly in favour of taking strike action over the school’s plans to enforce damaging contractual changes to teachers' pension entitlements.
A statutory industrial action ballot, which closed today, returned a result of 78% of teachers at the school supporting strike action, on a turnout of 86%. The EIS, the country’s largest teaching union, is now set to call its members at Hutchesons’ out on strike in the near future.
Commenting, EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said, "This is a very strong ballot result, which demonstrates the determination of EIS members at Hutchesons' to stand up for their contractual terms and conditions in the face of attacks by an aggressive management regime. Industrial action is very rare in Scottish schools, and this is particularly the case in the independent sector.
"The fact that teachers at Hutchesons' are making this stand, working together through their trade unions, reflects very well on the staff and very poorly on the school. The actions of the school – in engaging in 'fire and rehire' tactics with its dedicated teaching staff in order to force them onto inferior contracts – are reprehensible and will continue to be resisted fiercely."
Ms Bradley added, "As a result of this decisive ballot result, the EIS Emergency Committee will meet first thing tomorrow morning to discuss a programme of strike action at the school. The management of the school must now listen to the school's teachers and reverse its damaging programme of fire and rehire, and reinstate teachers on their previous terms and conditions, including their pension provision.
"Without this, teachers at Hutchesons' will have inferior terms and conditions compared both to other independent schools in Scotland and, also, teachers in the state sector. This will inevitably have a damaging impact on morale and has already resulted in departures amongst teaching staff at Hutchesons'.
"Parents at the school must also be wondering why a fee-paying school, which is apparently in good financial health, is choosing to hack away at the contracts of the school's teaching staff, causing upset and uncertainty, and unsettling the delivery of education at the school which is likely soon to be significantly disrupted if strike action by members at Hutchesons' Grammar is sanctioned by the EIS tomorrow."