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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:


What we think

No more concessions to Labour right!


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Newham council to sack up to 1,300

Slump in unfair dismissal cases - scrap tribunal fees!

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NHS crisis and fightback

NHS: Stop the Tory vandals

Hundreds protest the decimation of Devon NHS

Massive support in Stoke for action to save the NHS

Health campaigners in Yorkshire protest "slash and trash plans"


International socialist news and analysis

Victory at Standing Rock: US authorities agree to re-route oil pipeline

Spain: Government forced back by Student Union mobilisations

Italy: Establishment routed - workers alternative needed

Portugal: No to witch-hunts - fight the capitalists not socialists

Austria: Far right temporarily halted

Sudan: General strike in defiance of regime


Socialist Party workplace news

Durham TAs force Labour to suspend pay cuts

Protest against Glasgow Labour's scab workforce plan to defeat Unison strike

Crossrail action in defence of victimised union rep

Unison members barely earning the living wage in some universities

Sacked bakers' union rep Kumaran Bose calls for living wage 'protection'

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Bolton council gives 300k to solicitors while making swingeing cuts

Reading TUSC writes to Labour councillors to demand cuts fight


John Sharpe: 1953-2016

Obituary: John Sharpe: 1953-2016


 

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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:

triangleIsrael: Hospital ancillary workers' strike suspended

triangleTower Hamlets Labour backs Tory cuts

triangleBexley bin workers strike for better pay

triangleFurther education set for industrial action over pay

Labour:

triangleTories and Labour fail on child poverty

triangleLabour expulsions confirm need for new mass workers' party

trianglePreparing for struggle in post-Covid Britain

Cuts:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Flooding, homelessness, cuts... Walthamstow needs a re-set - what's the socialist plan?

triangleGovernment departments move to impose pay cuts

Council:

triangleBarnsley 'Big Green Space' protest

Single status:

triangleNewham council tax workers' pay victory

Review:

triangleTV Review: Stateless blames mismanagement rather than system

Unison:

triangleNew left NEC meets - Organise the fight back now

Unions:

triangleFight Freeports to stop bonfire of workers' rights

Union:

triangleYouth Fight for Jobs is officially relaunched

Teaching assistants:

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

Strike:

triangleUnite to fight Tory pay insults

Teesside:

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

Trade unions:

triangleTrade unions must continue the fight for Covid safety

Socialist Party:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Cuba protests - what do they represent?

Schools:

triangleBrighton Socialist Party: Material deprivation and the impact on schools

School:

trianglePublic sector pay - Prepare for action!

Socialist:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Defend a woman's right to choose

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