Independent members - latest news
ATL's campaign of collective action, strategic alliance and robust negotiation has brought about an historic victory for independent school members.
ATL members are to be highly commended for the leading role they played in securing the continued right of independent school teachers to remain in the Teachers Pension Scheme. Similarly, support staff will retain the right to remain in the Local Government Pension Scheme. Let no-one be under any illusion, had we failed in this task there would have been grave consequences.
ATL decided to accept the government's final offer after talks on the finer details of the new scheme and a members' poll where 91.6% of respondents supported the deal, which is significantly better than the government's original offer. For details, see:
Independent schools will continue to be eligible to be in the scheme. This represents a considerable achievement on the part of ATL members and negotiators who campaigned so hard on this aspect of the proposals.
Government confirmation of TPS eligibility
In the talks with ATL and the other teaching unions before Christmas, the government gave a commitment that, as part of a wider agreement on pension reform, teachers in the independent sector would continue to be eligible to be in the TPS.
Following a specific request from ATL, the government provided written confirmation of this commitment to the teaching unions on 11 January 2012. The following is an extract from that communication:
"The Secretary of State has confirmed Ministers' commitment to continue to engage with all eight unions to finalise the details of the 'Heads of Agreement',
"I also wanted to take this opportunity to set out some formal clarification of a specific point that arose in our discussions immediately before Christmas. As we discussed, the Government has decided to retain the Fair Deal policy on condition that agreement is reached on the reform of public service pension schemes. In the negotiations that took place between us before Christmas we indicated our view that this decision would mean that teachers working in independent schools would continue to have access to the TPS.
"I know that this is an important issue for unions and I can confirm formally that, subject to agreement on wider reform, independent schools which already have access to the Teachers' Pension Scheme will continue to do so for both existing and new teachers; and that new teachers and independent schools will continue to be able to join the scheme under the existing qualifying criteria."