Teachers fury over voucher pay plan

23rd January 1998 at 00:00
Teachers are outraged by a proposal that they should receive wages in the form of vouchers for supermarkets and department stores, writes Neil Sears.

The scheme, proposed by Oxfordshire County Council, means offering staff 10 per cent of their wages in vouchers. It would save the council money as it would not have to pay national insurance on voucher payments.

The council says that if 25 per cent of the council's 15,500 staff received 10 per cent of their pay in vouchers there would be an annual saving of Pounds 500,000.

Suggested stores includes Safeway, Sainsbury's and Marks and Spencer.

But Roy Leach, secretary of the Oxfordshire branch of the National Union of Teachers, said: "It's just another scheme which seems to require employees to make a contribution to their own employer. The big question is whether it would affect pension entitlements."

A council spokesman said the proposal - to be optional - was yet to be formalised. But she did admit that it almost certainly would affect pension entitlement. She said that the scheme could only operate for the coming financial year, as the tax loophole was due to be changed.

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