Workers in Sefton, Merseyside, are calling on councillors to resolve their employment status following the opening of a free school.
The teachers and support workers used to work at St George of England School and St Wilfrid’s High.Both have now been closed and a new free school, the Hawthornes, stands on the site of St George of England School.
The school has the same head teacher and teaches the same students. But the workers have neither been transferred across nor given redundancy packages from Sefton council.
Julie Powell, who used to work at St George school, is one of those now out of work. “I was assistant head teacher,” she told Socialist Worker. “Now I’m reduced to looking for supply work. It’s just awful trying to get by. Some people have tried to claim benefits but no one’s received any money yet.”
Workers plan to protest on Thursday of this week. They will lobby a council meeting from 9am at Southport Town Hall, then protest at Merton House, Bootle, from 4pm.
Sefton council says it isn’t responsible for the workers as they should have been transferred to the free school under Tupe employment law. The free school disagrees.
Julie said, “Time is costing us financially and emotionally. We’re calling on the council to make interest-free loans available to us. The council told us they’ve got the money in the bank for our redundancy packages. They’re getting interest on the money while we’re struggling.”
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