Teaching assistants in Derby and Durham are gearing up to march in Durham on Saturday 25 March in a national show of solidarity in their fights against Labour pay cuts.
The Unison union members in Derby began another ten days of strikes last Monday. Derby City Council slashed their pay by 25 percent last summer and the TAs have been fighting back since.
Derby Unison is currently in talks with council chiefs, which it said were at a “critical and sensitive stage”. But there was still no sign of an acceptable offer as Socialist Worker went to press.
The union is laying on transport to march alongside Durham TAs next Saturday.
Unison activists from branches around Britain are also organising delegations for the Durham march.
It will be staged less than six weeks before local elections that could become a referendum on the Labour-run county council and its attempts to sack and rehire TAs and slash their pay by 23 percent.
That attack is on hold for talks that have dragged out for three months since strikes were suspended in December. Many TAs are getting restless and want to see an end to the uncertainty.
A massive march next week can increase the pressure on Labour ahead of the elections but TAs should also exert pressure inside the majority Unison union.
Strikes forced the council to suspend the attack last year, as pressure built inside Labour Party ranks after the TAs year-long campaign culminated in solid walkouts.
The threat of more strikes coupled with political pressure ahead of the elections could be enough to tip the scales.