Teaching Assistant Dispute

Momentum Derbyshire declares support for TAs and recognises that Pay Cut is a Council “choice”

6x4a3832Momentum Derbyshire has issued a statement that must come as a welcome boost to the Teaching Assistants(TAs), and School Support staff who have been in dispute with Derby City Council over pay cuts, for the last 16 months.

The statement recognises that the responsibility for the dispute lies with the local Council, and is calling on their colleagues in the local Labour Party to take action to “protect worker’s rights” and consider other budgetary options.

Momentum is an organisation which exists to build on the energy and enthusiasm from the ‘Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Leader’ campaign to increase participatory democracy, solidarity, and grassroots power and help Labour become the transformative governing party of the 21st century

It is particularly significant that this has been issued, now,  and seems to reflect the groundswell of opinion within the population that something must now be done to finally resolve this dispute. It notes that it is a worker’s rights  issue, and that this can only be resolved from within the Council and, as a Labour Council, it is best placed to deliver the right outcome, in line with the spirit and principles of the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

The full statement reads:

“Momentum Derbyshire expresses its full support to the Derby Teaching Assistants in their fight to retain pre-existing levels of pay and working conditions, against their employers.

Momentum Derbyshire notes the role that the Derby City Council has played in this dispute, and politely asks our Labour peers to think again regarding the Teaching Assistants contracts. We politely urge Labour Councillors within Derby City Council to:

• Protect workers’ rights, and consider other courses of action regarding balancing the budget that do not undermine workers’ positions in their employment
• Acknowledge that the decision to change the Teaching Assistants contracts is a local government choice. A choice that CAN be reconsidered.
• Work with Unison, the lead Union representing the employees in this case (many of whom are loyal Labour party members) to come to a positive and mutually agreeable compromise and conclusion.”

Momentum Derbyshire with a huge majority voted to fully support the Derby City TA’s in their battle against their employers.”

Conclusion

I’m sure the striking TAs, and School Support staff will be hoping that this is not empty words, and that the visible and active presence of those Momentum Derbyshire members ( which includes ex-local MP Chris Williamson) operating in Derby will be felt more positively, and transparently.

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