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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 October 2016

Furious Durham teaching assistants ballot for strike action

Durham TAs at the Tory party conference demo on 2 October 2016 photo Durham TAs/Twitter

Durham TAs at the Tory party conference demo on 2 October 2016 photo Durham TAs/Twitter   (Click to enlarge)

Elaine Brunskill, Northern Socialist Party

Teaching assistants (TAs) in Durham are furious at the Labour council's plans to 'chop and drop' them. If these proposals go ahead 2,700 TA's will be sacked, then rehired on 23% less pay as they will only be paid during term time.

The same council which is intent on slashing TAs wages was ridiculed by David Cameron for shamefully paying senior councillors thousands in a special clothing allowance.

Unison members, who make up the bulk of the TAs, voted to reject a compensation deal - which offers compensation for two years, instead of one. Belatedly Unison is now to launch a ballot for strike action.

The predominantly women TAs have packed out recent meetings to defend their terms and conditions. At these meetings it is clear that alongside fury at the Labour council, there is also anger at their unions who have 'dragged their feet'. TAs feel they are fighting on two fronts - against the council and their unions.

Disgracefully, no Unison or GMB officials who are overseeing this dispute attended these grassroots meetings. However, the campaign has gained the support of Jeremy Corbyn, who gave the stark warning to Durham City Council to 'get this sorted'.

The TAs under attack have laid out why they cannot accept this massive pay cut when they are already poorly paid. Already one TA has sold her home as she feared she would no longer be able to keep up her mortgage payments. Others have said if these plans go ahead they will be forced to give up the job they love and look for alternative employment.

However, it is clear the Durham TAs are prepared to fight - messages of support can be sent to: spartacusannie@gmail.com and to contribute to the Durham TAs' fund visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/CountyDurhamTeachingAssistants

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In The Socialist 5 October 2016:


What we think

Combative, vibrant unions should be central to the Corbyn movement


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories out!

Come to Socialism 2016!

Sam Allardyce corruption shame: reclaim the game!

Asos workers fear taking toilet breaks, sacked for panic attacks

UK workers born in early 1980s half as wealthy as those born in 1970s

Millions have less than 100 savings

Them & Us

What we saw


Black History Month

Fighting racism today


Workplace news and analysis

RMT president Sean Hoyle speaks to the Socialist

Durham teaching assistants ballot for strike

Napo conference 2016: new mood of determination

London Met strike against job cuts and victimisation

Workplace news in brief


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Corbyn's praise for Cardiff Labour is mistaken

Review: where you live can kill you

Review: international jazz protest storytelling

The Socialist inbox


Socialist Students

Socialist ideas - winning a new generation of students


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Thousands march against Tory conference

Protests against children's centre closures in Bolton

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Fighting fund record smashed again!

Leeds: Solidarity demo with Irish abortion fight

London: Socialism Today milestone celebration

Worcester: Public meeting discusses Corbyn


International socialist news and analysis

Poland: Fighting back against anti-abortion law

Ireland: repeal the 8th Amendment!

Joint declaration by Izquierda Revolucionaria and the CWI


 

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