At 10.29am there was a handful of us standing on the Council House steps – waiting with anticipation, seeing the odd Councillor scuttle in through the main doors. And then, like the cavalry “coming to the rescue” a noisy, colourful, tide of Teaching Assistants/Support Staff appeared in the distance, quickly filling the steps. It was a great sight to witness, knowing that everyone there had been very personally affected by this draconian “Equal Pay” policy. Their last 9 months being a constant struggle with a system, procedure and methodology which has unconditionally been stacked against those striking today.
The spirits of everyone were high, the mood was buoyant, and creative… despite the difficult circumstances.Passing cars, buses, lorries and even fire engines honked their horns in support. It was like a celebration of the solidarity of those who were still fighting against an injustice. I’ve spoken to many people over the months; it just isn’t easy for them – how can anyone afford such a cut to one’s salary? But this isn’t a “militant” group – they just want fairness. Being on the streets, today, was the last thing they wanted – I know where their hearts are, they’re with the children that they care for, and support.
I have no idea where Derby City Council’s heart is…..