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22 March 2017

Derby TAs' strike suspended after new offer

Charlie Taylor, Derby Socialist Party

Following a new offer from Labour-led Derby council, public sector union Unison has now suspended the all-out strike action by teaching assistants and school support staff.

The offer will be put to staff in a ballot starting on 22 March. Unison is recommending its 1,200 members involved should accept the offer.

In November 2016 staff were made an offer of a one-off compensation payment. This was rejected as only a small number of staff would have been compensated.

Details of the new offer are yet to be revealed but it will still probably be a one-off compensatory deal. Dozens of skilled and experienced support staff have already left their jobs as they cannot exist on their lower wages, with an average cut of 400 month. Despite any one-off offer, the wage cuts will remain.

There have been 16 different periods of strike action during the ten month dispute.

A teaching assistant approached the Socialist Party stall in the city centre on 18 March and said that if the deal is not good enough, the strike action can still be reinstated. The ballot will last a fortnight.

On Saturday 25 March Durham teaching assistants are staging a national day of solidarity to thank supporters and to ensure that the wider public are aware that they are still fighting against similar pay cuts.