Teaching Assistant Dispute

Parents protest in Council Offices demanding an end to TA/School Support staff dispute

A protest was arranged today at 1.30pm by the Parents affected by the TA/School Support staff dispute in the Council reception. Also in attendance, were TAs and UNISON. It was a noisy gathering which was met with respect by the Council staff despite the whistles, the marching, and cries of “Banwait Out!”

Cllr Eldret offered to see 2 parents – this was rejected – they wanted 10 parents involved, together with their children.  The meeting lasted for an hour. The parents reported that they felt that Eldret was just blaming UNISON, claiming that there was no more money,  repeated the same over simplified arguments used previously and left them with the view that the Council did not care about their children. It was not satisfactory. Parents are beginning to feel the pressure, as they are losing pay, jobs, quality of life…and the concern over the children is growing on a daily basis. If this is part of the Council’s negotiating strategy then it is a cynical and dangerous one.

She offered no creative solution to the fact that the children affected were not getting the schooling that they were entitled to, which is a legal obligation of the Council. She agreed to meet them in 2 weeks time with an “update”.

Parents will be looking at legal challenges against the Council. The fight continues….

(As a reminder – the dispute is NOT about a pay increase, it’s a avoiding pay cuts of up to 25%. It is not about Job Evaluation, it’s about the Council deciding that Support Staff are part time, and cutting their pay. It is not about stopping being paid for holidays – they never were…..it is an immoral and unethical pay cut)

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