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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 January 2020

Hackney school bus workers win pay increase following strikes

Hackney Council drivers and passenger assistants in the Special Education Needs Service celebrate winning their pay claim

Hackney Council drivers and passenger assistants in the Special Education Needs Service celebrate winning their pay claim   (Click to enlarge)

A long-running dispute between Hackney council and school bus staff has been brought to an end after workers secured increased pay and a commitment to make agency roles permanent.

The pay deal came after 38 Unite the Union members, who are drivers and passenger escorts on school buses for children with disabilities, carried out a series of strikes during 2019.

The workers went on strike demanding financial recognition for working split shifts. Such payments were abolished as part of a 'single status' agreement many years back when local authorities attacked pay and conditions in the name of equal pay - in reality an exercise to level down pay.

Hackney council has agreed to yearly lump sum payments which will be backdated to April 2019 and are linked to annual National Joint Council pay increases for local government staff.

Onay Kasab, Unite regional officer says: "We have achieved an absolutely marvellous victory in Hackney for our passenger special education needs service (SEND) members after having taken strike action. I want to congratulate every single one of those members. Also, I want to say thank you to everybody who supported the campaign throughout 2019.

"There are some very important lessons to learn. The first lesson is absolutely clear - if you take action, then you can win! Our intention now is to spread this campaign right across London and to other local authorities as well. We think we can improve everybody's pay and conditions and this shows it can be done. But the message also is this - it can only be done if we have a militant, fighting union. If you're a member of a union that is prepared to fight back, we can win real improvements in pay and conditions for our members. Congratulations to every one of our members. Congratulations to every one of our members in Hackney."

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In The Socialist 15 January 2020:


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