The NEU remains committed to protecting independent school teachers' membership of the TPS. We will support members in opposing any proposal to remove teachers’ membership of the TPS.
Make your collective NEU voice heard
See the action points below. Demand full financial disclosure & interrogate the detail. Challenge consultation that is not meaningful. Organise collectively to oppose unacceptable proposals or retain your right to TPS membership. Exhaust all options, before considering accepting alternative schemes.
Use the following materials to assist members:
- Independent schools TPS frequently asked questions
- exemplifications of the scale of likely loss if moved to an inferior pension scheme
- NEU model letter opposing withdrawal from the TPS
- NEU model letter seeking meaningful consultation.
All of the information on this page is available as a downloadable leaflet to use in meetings.
Complete our TPS Survey - please click here to undertake this short survey so we know whether your school is actively considering leaving or is staying with the TPS.
There are around 1,250 independent schools in the TPS but NEU, DfE and ISC do not know how many are actively considering leaving. The survey will only take a couple of minutes but the information is important.
Major employers reassure staff that they are staying with the TPS.
Many major employers, such as the Girls’ Day School Trust, are remaining in the TPS. GDST staff have a strong collective voice, as NEU is the recognized union.
Successful NEU representations strengthen school resolve. NEU school reps across the country are reporting that robust NEU members’ representations have made a difference. Many governing bodies, sympathetic to staff interest and their ability to recruit and retain quality teachers have issued statements to reassure staff.
Threat of union action. In some instances, where members believe that the option to remain in the TPS is being unreasonably discounted, members have conducted indicative ballots, prior to industrial action. One school in the SW, saw 70% support for action, forcing the employer to rethink and commit to staying in the TPS!
A bad situation worse. It is indisputable that any alternative scheme will not offer comparable benefits to the TPS. Unfortunately, a few employers are making a bad situation worse by proposing to decrease the employer contribution from the current level of 16.4 per cent. Check the proposed employer contribution for any new proposed scheme is no lower than that for the TPS now.
TPS now and for the future.
It is not legally possible for employers to close the TPS to new teachers while keeping it open for existing staff. NEU opposes any proposal to change the law, as undermining the scheme in the future.
Members report: meaningful staff consultation is not…giving a week’s notice; proposing an alternative scheme without full detail; not disclosing full school finances; threatening to sack staff; saying decision already made.
Local on-going support - contact your local NEU regional office.
For individual personal financial advice, NEU members can seek free, no obligation initial consultation from Lighthouse, either on a 1-2-1 basis or through a school member meeting.
What you can do
There is a potential significant detrimental for you, future generations of teachers, your school and ultimately the pupils.
There are things that you can do now which might positively influence the situation in your workplace.
- Get together with your fellow NEU members to make sure that colleagues are aware of the threat and to form your collective response. The NEU is by far and away the largest education union and in the independent sector. A union response in an individual school comes with that additional heft.
- This should be led by the NEU workplace rep. If there isn’t one in your workplace, now is the time for members to get organised and appoint a rep! Information on the role can be found here.
- Speak to your bursar to find out what the situation is your school or college.
- The institution’s resources might mean that they can absorb the additional cost without issue. If so, you don’t need to worry.
- If there is any doubt about continuation in the scheme you need to act as soon as possible.
- It is imperative that NEU members make robust representations to the governing body or proprietor to stress the importance of the TPS to staff and the school.
- As the largest and most influential union in the independent sector, we recommend that this is done in the name of the NEU. As appropriate, you might act in liaison with other unions, the common room, or staff pay and remuneration committee.
- If your employer is actively considering withdrawing from the TPS, then they must make provision for meaningful consultation of staff. Ask what provision is being made.
- The strongest staff voice is where the employer recognises the union to collectively represent staff. Then there is negotiation, with a view to reaching agreement.
- If the NEU is not recognised in your workplace consider seeking recognition of NEU – a statutory right, with majority of staff support.
- Should your representations prove unsuccessful, there should be a negotiation on provision for an alternative pension scheme.
- NEU reps have already reported their employers citing the pension increase as an inhibiting factor on staff pay rises for September 2019. Should your employer make such claims, NEU recommends that members seek full disclosure of all relevant financial information. This is a statutory right under recognition and the ACAS guidance on disclosure of information can be read here.