Teachers at Hutchesons' continue strike action over 'fire and rehire' pension cuts

Created on: 30 May 2023 | Last modified: 09 Nov 2023

Teachers at Hutchesons' Grammar School, an independent school in Glasgow, are continuing their programme of strike action over the school’s enforcement of damaging contractual changes to teachers’ pension entitlements.

The EIS, has called its members at Hutchesons’ out on strike in their second day of strike action, with a third day of action set for tomorrow. An EIS statutory industrial action ballot recently returned a result of 78% of teachers at the school supporting strike action, on a turnout of 86%.

Hutchesons’ Grammar school issued ‘fire and rehire’ letters to teaching staff over the Easter holiday period, dismissing teachers from their contracts and telling them to sign new contacts, with inferior pension provision. Any teacher who declined to sign the new contract would no longer have a job at the end of the school year.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said, “Teachers at Hutchesons’ Grammar School are continuing with strike action today in defence of their contractual terms and conditions.

"The current dispute and associated strike action at Hutchesons’ Grammar school is a direct result of the school’s use of fire and rehire tactics to blatantly force teachers into new contracts with inferior pension provision. Having launched a consultation with teachers over their proposals, the school then completely ignored the results of that consultation – where the overwhelming majority of teachers rejected the proposals – and pressed ahead with issuing termination letters to staff over the Easter period.

"There has been no indication that the school is in financial difficulty, but it has steam-rolled on with enforced changes to teachers’ pensions to save money and to build up a financial surplus for the school. This has been a calculated financial decision by the school seeking to cut costs at the expense of staff terms and conditions.”

Ms Bradley added, “Hutchesons’ is a school with a long and proud history, with many former pupils now holding prominent positions in society. The recent actions of the school, however, reflect extremely poorly on Hutchesons’, are damaging the reputation of the school and, by forcing teachers into strike action, and are also now impacting on the learning experience of pupils at Hutchesons’ Grammar.

"The school must now think again, reverse its course, and reinstate teachers with their previous contractual terms and conditions.”