TEACHERS at an independent school in Glasgow have voted in favour of strike action after their employers attempted to “fire and rehire” staff.

Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Hutchesons’ Grammar School in Glasgow are to take four days of strike action starting on May 30.

The union states that employers at the school, where First Minister Humza Yousaf was once a pupil, have sought to impose an inferior pension scheme on teachers and threatened them with the sack if they did not agree to the changes.

The proposed defined contribution scheme which has been offered to teachers provides no guarantee of the level of income teachers would receive in retirement or any index-linked rises to their pension pots.

Members were given notice of termination of their contracts at the end of March and offers of re-engagement on condition of accepting the downgrading of their pensions.

Teachers who attempted to sign new contracts of re-employment stating they only agreed because they were under duress were then told if they didn’t sign “clean” copies of the contract they would be sacked and their jobs would be advertised.

The NASUWT balloted members at the school for industrial action, with 87% in favour of taking both strike action and action short of strike action.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said: “The employer has treated hard working teachers appallingly throughout this saga.

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“Teachers have been subjected to intimidation by an employer whose conduct is redolent of the worst employment practices in the country.

“Whilst our members do not want to see any disruption to pupils' examinations, the employer has now to recognise that its actions alone have led to the escalation of this dispute.

“This is an employer that is attacking basic terms and conditions of employment because it thinks it can get away with it.

“Our members are resolute and will not be bullied.”

Mike Corbett, NASUWT National Official Scotland, said: “We have sought at every stage to appeal to the employer to enter into talks with us, but have been met with a wall of silence from the school.

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"Pleas from the Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar and the local MP to the school to enter into negotiations with us have also been ignored.

“This contemptuous attitude sums up the employers’ attitude towards their staff, who have faced the worst kind of coercive and bullying behaviour from those who are supposed to lead them.

“We appeal to parents and the wider community to join with us in calling on the school to drop its hostility towards its loyal and dedicated staff and to agree to work with us to address these attacks on teachers’ basic terms and conditions so that the disruption of strike action can be avoided.”

A school spokesman said on Friday: “We are obviously incredibly disappointed with the EIS ballot result and the NASUWT’s decision however the school’s position remains that, in the absence of any viable alternatives, and none were identified by teaching staff during the consultation process, current financial headwinds mean it is remains necessary to cap one of the school’s biggest costs going forward.

“The board strongly rejects any suggestion of fire and rehire.”

The spokesman added it was “confident the school is offering our valued teachers one of the most generous defined contribution schemes in the private sector”.