Socialist Worker

Coventry strikes against single status

Issue No. 2037

Teaching assistants on the picket line today (Pic: Coventry Unison)

Teaching assistants on the picket line today (Pic: Coventry Unison)

Striking teaching assistants and school support staff were today picketing outside a Coventry primary school.

They gathered at the gates of Holbrook Primary School at the start of a three-day strike over a bitter pay dispute.

Half the city's parking attendants began a three-day strike in protest over the same 'single status' pay wrangle–they were picketing their main office in New Union Street, in the city centre.

Both groups of workers, members of the Unison union, are protesting against sweeping changes to pay and conditions under the single status pay package imposed on them in June, 2005.

The package left 1,500 staff losing up to £9,000 in Coventry council.

Unison negotiator Richard Harty said that the mood among his members was 'still very angry'.

The teaching assistants have been working closely with parents to keep them informed. The workers received much positive support as they stood outside gates handing out leaflets explaining the strike.

Neil Swatman from Unison told Socialist Worker, “The determination of our members should send a clear message to our employers that enough is enough. We don’t want to target children by taking strike action in schools but it is about time the council started to take this issue seriously.

“The attacks to our members pay and conditions is quite frankly unacceptable and we want the council to come back to the table and talk to us about how we can protect these important workers. We do not want to be forced into taking strike action but the responsibility lies firmly with the council. Investment in public services should start with the investment into staff.”

For background to the dispute go to Action over single status in Coventry

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