NEU teacher members employed in the 23 independent schools run by the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) have voted to accept the offer made by the employer after last week’s talks with the National Education Union at Acas.
Following their unprecedented six days of strike action, teachers have won the right to stay in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme; the threat of fire and rehire has been withdrawn; and an enhanced pay offer has been made for all staff, teachers and support staff.
Sadly, the NEU and GDST were unable to reach an agreed negotiated settlement. A significant concern for the union remains the proposal to close the scheme to new teachers. The union and its members at the GDST trust schools believe this decision by the trust is short sighted and will lead to recruitment difficulties in the future.
NEU members are relieved to be returning to the classroom. However, there is now significant work to be done to try and rebuild the staff's trust and confidence in their employer which has been so badly rocked by this dispute.
Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
"NEU members of the GDST should be proud of the solidarity, resolution and spirit they have shown throughout this dispute. In standing up for their rights they were forced to take unprecedented and historic strike action to defend their pensions. Our members at GDST, 80% of them women, gave a 'live' lesson in the values that they seek to instil in the girls they educate: being principled, knowing your worth, and standing up for what is right.” 
Editor’s Note:
NEU teacher members at GDST voted between 14-15 March to accept the offer. 75% of teachers employed by the GDST are members of the NEU.