OFFICIALS FROM the Unison and GMB unions were due to meet Brighton and Hove council for talks this week about the dispute over pay for teaching assistants. Teaching assistants in Brighton and Hove struck on three days last year against council plans to cut the number of weeks they work, effectively wiping out a promised pay rise.
The talks will be hosted by the Acas conciliation service. Alex Knutsen, Unison branch secretary for Brighton and Hove council, is confident arbitration can secure a good deal.
“Our case is so solid—we can document the deviousness of the council,” he says. “If terms of reference are agreed, we think they will lose and they think they will lose. But if they’re playing around then we will move to strike action, probably an all-out strike.”
If the talks fail, teaching assistants will walk out again on Thursday of next week.