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Teaching assistants strike in Derby

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Issue 2509
Teaching Assistants in Unison struck in Derby last week
Teaching Assistants in Unison struck in Derby last week (Pic: Sue Arguile)

A STRIKE by teaching assistants (TAs) in Derby shut thirty schools and partially closed many others last Thursday.

Some 1,200 TAs are resisting a Labour-run council that is imposing new contracts that slash pay by up to a quarter and increase the working week.

Hundreds of striking TAs in the Unison union held an angry demonstration outside council offices.

This week TAs will walk out between 12 noon and 2pm each day.

The attack in Derby, happening as a result of a so- called “equal pay review”, mirrors another attack by Labour on TAs at Durham County Council.

There it plans to sack and rehire 2,700 TAs on worse terms.

Councils are forcing TAs onto term time only contracts.

Unison’s local government conference this week voted for the union to campaign for school workers to be employed during every week of the year.

York delegate and TA Julie said, “Strikes are the only way we can stop these cuts. I don’t understand why teachers are balloting nationally against cuts but we are not.”

Lizzie is a TA in Durham. She told Socialist Worker that the Labour council’s justification for cuts was just about “divide and rule”.

She said Durham was pushing for a massive campign but the fight needed to take place nationally.

Thanks to Sue Arguile

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