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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 December 2016

Durham TAs force Labour to suspend pay cuts

Durham's striking teaching assistants have forced the city's Labour council to suspend massive pay cuts, photo by Durham TAs

Durham's striking teaching assistants have forced the city's Labour council to suspend massive pay cuts, photo by Durham TAs   (Click to enlarge)

Alan Docherty, Teesside Socialist Party

Durham teaching assistants (TAs) have won a significant battle in their campaign to prevent Labour-controlled Durham council from cutting their pay by up to 23%. The immediate threat to dismiss all TAs, members of Unison and teaching union ATL, and reemploy them on worse conditions from 1 January 2017 has been suspended.

Four days of strike action have forced the council back to the negotiating table.

Unison called off the next round of planned strikes, due to commence on 1 December.

Jubilant

The council will now re-enter negotiations with the recognised trade unions to try to find a settlement by a new deadline of 1 September 2017.

Staff are jubilant about their victory, but very cautious too that the threat of pay cuts has not been lifted.

The council has laid down its conditions that it is undertaking "a review of teaching assistants' role, function, job description, and activities within the breadth of school activities to establish whether current job descriptions adequately describe the role being undertaken by TAs in schools. This review will not reopen the single status agreement currently in place."

Such a review is likely to lead to winners and losers. Possibly some new higher graded posts will be introduced and staff will be divided as they compete for these 'promotions'.

Wrong

There is something seriously wrong with Durham council's pay and grading structure for TAs. They earn thousands of pounds less than those in neighbouring authorities, even before the current attack on their pay.

One of the reasons TAs remained employed on full-time contracts was to compensate them for such a low grade delivered through job evaluation for single status.

There must be recognition that job evaluation (single status) must be reopened. Both the unions and management must admit that they got it wrong. All the TAs should be re-graded up to a level commensurate with other authorities and no one should lose any pay.

Durham TAs have to stay vigilant and engage in the running of their union to ensure no sell out.

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In The Socialist 7 December 2016:


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Related links:

Durham:

triangleDurham Miners' Gala

triangleSolid strike by Arriva bus drivers

triangleDurham Miners' Gala 2018

triangleDurham TAs reject council's pay offer

triangleLots of discussions at the Miners Gala on the way forward

Pay:

triangleCollege strikes continue into third week

triangleNational Education Union deputy general secretary election

triangleWorkers need a pay rise

triangleFight for the pay rise we deserve

Labour:

triangleThe 'winter of discontent' - When workers could take no more

triangleMarch to save Stratford arts jobs from Newham Labour attacks

trianglePlace Unite at the head of the anti-Tory movement

Cuts:

triangleHackney: Stop closure of children's centres

triangleNottingham: Punish Labour for cruel cuts

Council:

triangleOaks Park pickets vote for more strikes to defeat bullies

Single status:

triangleNewham council tax workers' pay victory

Review:

triangleTV Review - Help: Heart-wrenching portrayal of Covid care home crisis

Unison:

triangleWho runs Unison: lay members or the paid officials?

Unions:

triangleFlexibility to suit workers not the bosses

Union:

triangleTesco warehouse rep fighting for reinstatement

Teaching assistants:

triangle"I'm here to fight for the future education of children in Hackney"

Strike:

triangleDVLA: Workers ballot on further strike action

Teesside:

triangleTeesside Socialist Party: After the general election - Stand firm for socialist policies

Trade unions:

triangleInterview: Bakers' union to vote on Labour disaffiliation

Socialist Party:

triangle'Stop climate change' demonstrations

Schools:

triangleSchools funding crisis fails vulnerable children

School:

triangleReaders' comments

Socialist:

triangleHillingdon Socialist Party: The ideas of Leon Trotsky

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