Socialist Worker

Action over single status in Coventry

Issue No. 2037

Some 20 teaching assistants and secretarial staff at Holbrook primary school in Coventry were set to strike for three days from Wednesday of this week over a single status pay deal.

The women workers, who are members of the Unison union, don’t stand to lose out under single status, but are striking in support of colleagues who do.

Parking attendants in the city will also be on strike at the same time.

The teaching assistants issued a statement collectively, saying, “We have voted unanimously for strike action. We are all hardworking, loyal and have many years of service.?

“We all have our own families and livelihoods to consider but we want the parents, pupils – along with our supportive head teacher and teaching colleagues – to know that this decision was certainly not taken lightly.

“We are not striking against our school. We are striking against our employer, Coventry city council.

“As a group of workers we are classed as ‘gainers’ but we cannot stand by while friends and colleagues within the council are losing out. We are telling our employer we have had enough.”

As part of Coventry Unison’s campaign the branch called a national single status activists’ crisis meeting. However, following a letter from Unison regional officials, the meeting has been cancelled.

The letter said the meeting was in breach of union rules.

Coventry Unison issued the following statement, “While we regret that this meeting must now be pulled, we still believe that something needs to be done to resolve problems that branches face with single status.

“We would like to ask branches to e-mail us with any experiences or general comments regarding the issues surrounding single status.”

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