Created on: 18 May 2023
Teachers at Hutchesons' Grammar School, an independent school in Glasgow, have commenced a programme of strike action over the school's enforcement of damaging contractual changes to teachers' pension entitlements.
A statutory industrial action ballot, which closed two weeks ago, returned a result of 78% of teachers at the school supporting strike action, on a turnout of 86%. The EIS has called its members at Hutchesons' out on strike in what is believed to be the first ever strike action at an independent school in Scotland.
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 today taking strike action for the first time in the school’s history in defence of their contractual terms and conditions.
"The fact that EIS members at the school backed strike action so convincingly, and have taken to the street today in protest at the school’s actions, demonstrates the strength of feeling amongst teachers at this damaging enforced change to their terms and conditions of employment."
Ms Bradley added, "The school's actions throughout this process have been shameful – from launching a consultation amongst staff which they then ignored the result of, to issuing 'fire and rehire' letters to teachers over a holiday period, to telling staff that their jobs would be advertised if they did not sign up to new inferior contracts within a very limited timescale – the management of the school have demonstrated that they do not value the views and contributions of Hutchesons' highly dedicated and highly professional teachers."
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, 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."
Picket lines will be in place at Hutchesons' Grammar School on Friday – see notes below for details.
Notes for Editors