Early retirement offer snapped up

20th November 2009 at 00:00
More than 700 teachers have expressed an interest in Glasgow City Council's early retirement offer for teachers aged 55 or over

But it appears that many are likely to be disappointed. Sources in the council told The TESS that the number of teachers released in the first tranche was likely to be around 100, although the authority did not have a target figure. Final numbers would depend on the business case made by the applicant's headteacher and the council's personnel department.

It stessed there would never be a situation - for financial reasons, among others - where the council would release 700 at one time.

However, it is understood the council intends to have further tranches of premature retirement over the next three years, although the numbers in future programmes would be "modest". They would be driven by its teacher workforce plan for 2010-13, which is expected to be presented to the council next year.

The premature retirement offer for teachers in Glasgow differs from that on offer to the general council workforce. It is open to those aged 55- plus and includes up to three years' pension enhancement. For other staff, the deal is for those aged 50-plus and includes a six-and-a-half year enhancement on their pension, or a larger lump sum for those who do not have a pension.

Hugh Donnelly, Glasgow area secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, said he thought most of the expressions of interest would have been genuine. But, for many teachers, it would depend not only on the level of their individual offer but on whether their school made a viable business case that would allow them to leave.

He was concerned about council plans to redistribute pupil support assistants coupled with potential redundancies, as they would be eligible for the general workforce package. Job losses among non-teaching staff would have a combined impact on teaching and learning in schools, with the needs of some pupils going unmet, he warned.

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