7 Days Remaining

Tuesday 17th
posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

UNISON warned against a bid to use parents as a scab army to undermine a strike by school support staff as the five-day walkout over pay began yesterday.

The union said workers in Derby, including teaching assistants, midday supervisors and administration staff, are set to lose thousands of pounds a year in a move to term-time-only contracts.

Unison condemned Derby City Council bosses for telling head teachers that they could ask parents to help keep schools open during the strike.

Unison Derby City branch secretary Nicole Berrisford told the Star: “Polls show 78 per cent of residents in Derby support the strike action.”

She warned of serious safeguarding concerns if parents were drafted in and accused the council of “trying to keep schools open by any means, including by offering a babysitting service, rather than resolve a dispute.”

Ms Berrisford said: “Demonising striking workers for the actions of the employer is not acceptable, nor is the continued disregard for the education of children in Derby, which has one of the lowest educational attainment rates in the country.”

Previous offers have been rejected by the union and Ms Berrisford said the strikes would continue until a settlement was reached.

A council spokesman said: “The council continues to work with head teachers and governing bodies to look at different options to ensure that as many of Derby’s children continue to receive the uninterrupted education that they deserve.”

The council insisted its advice was compliant with the legal requirements.

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