Teaching assistants (TAs) in Derby have called six days of strikes in their battle against a 25 percent pay cut.
The Labour-run city council imposed the cut in June.
The council’s move to term time only contracts is part of an equal pay review that mirrors Labour-run Durham County Council’s attack on TAs. It has cost Derby TAs up to £500 a month.
Unison union members were set to strike this Wednesday and Thursday, with further walkouts on Monday and Tuesday of next week and then on 4 and 5 January.
The council offered to give 250 workers a £2,000 payment and the other 900 nothing. The strikes follow 90 percent of TAs voting to reject the offer.
The offer was the result of talks that Unison suspended a three-day strike for in early November.
The union said that “whatever the offer” it would ballot members even though it described it as “insulting, derisory and divisive”.
The union should change its stance. Council chiefs must feel the pressure of industrial action while in future talks.Calling off action and drawing it out over several months risks undermining the momentum of the campaign.
Unison said it has “discussed a further potential resolution” with the council of “compensation for the loss in weeks from moving to term time working”.
But if it is not a permanent addition to TAs’ wages—as it wasn’t in Durham, where the vast majority of TAs rejected a similar proposal—then it should be rejected by the officials and action intensified.
Unison wants TAs “to be much stronger”. The TAs should be able to rely on their union to follow suit.