(January 2017) School support staff in Derbyshire in central England have been involved in two further weeks of strike action in protest at the local authority's decision to cut their pay by up to 25%. The workers, members of the UNISON trade union, took action at the end of last year in a dispute that began over seven months ago (see epsucob@NEWS 14 and 15 October and November 2016).
Further strike action by school support staff
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(October 2016) School support staff employed by Derby City Council in central England took further strike action on 20-21 October in their campaign to revese cuts in salary of up to 25%. Many of the workers are teaching assistants who will only be paid for their term-time work and thus those on level two will see annual salaries fall from GBP 21000 (EUR 23500) to GBP 15000 (EUR 16800) after already having a GBP 1200 (EUR1340) allowance cut in June.
Teachers, childcare workers and school administrative and other staff began an all-out strike on 8 April following three weeks of negotiations with the government over pay. The negotiations also came after a three-year campaign of demonstrations and protests over low pay in the sector affecting both teachers and other school staff. With the government refusing to come up with a decent pay offer, support for strike action was very high, registering 80%-90% in some areas. The action comes at a time when other groups of public service workers are either taking strike action or pushing for higher
School secretaries organised by the Fórsa trade union planned a one-day strike on 10 January and further industrial action in support of their campaign for pay justice (see EPSU CB News 17 and 18, September 2019). Nine out of 10 school secretaries are employed by their local school, are paid less than EUR 12500 a year and have precarious employment conditions. In contrast, one in 10 are directly employment by the department of education and have the appropriate pay and conditions of public servants. EPSU sent a message of solidarity.