TAs join a rally for Jeremy Corbyn in Derby 16 August 2016 photo Steve Score

TAs join a rally for Jeremy Corbyn in Derby 16 August 2016 photo Steve Score   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Charlie Taylor, Derby Socialist Party

Derby teaching assistants (TAs) are to take a further six days of strike action in their dispute with the Labour-led city council. The strike dates are 14, 15, 19 and 20 December 2016 and then again in the new year on 19 and 20 January.

The TAs have already taken several days of strike action over massive cuts to pay.

The cuts came about originally in the name of ‘single status’ and a review on equal pay. This review saw some workers gain but around 1,200 Unison members will see their pay slashed.


These new contracts were imposed on the teaching assistants in June this year. Many will see pay cuts of up to 25%, averaging £300-400 a month; some are losing as much as £6,000 a year.

In October planned strikes were suspended to allow talks to end the dispute. The council offered to make a one-off payment of £2,000 to staff that meet certain criteria. Unison says this equates to just 10% of the 2,700 who have been left out-of-pocket by the contract changes.

Staff voted to reject this offer and are now preparing for more strike action.

As in the Durham dispute it is a Labour council that is forcing through massive cuts to its workers’ pay. The leader of Derby City Council, Rangit Banwait, stood on the same platform as Jeremy Corbyn in front of 1,000 people and declared himself a democratic socialist and a supporter of Jeremy.

As with thousands of other Labour councillors, those in Derby should face re-selection if they are not prepared to stand up and fight.

Derby TAs will be encouraged by the struggle of the Durham TAs who have shown that action can force councils back.