TEACHERS joined school support staff in the first of two 24-hour stoppages at a London school yesterday in a dispute over new sick-pay arrangements.
Members of GMB and the National Education Union (NEU) at Charlton Park Special Academy School in Greenwich said the new arrangements will worsen their terms and conditions as bosses threatened to withdraw sick pay for staff who experience anxiety or depression due to work-related stress.
The unions said the school has already “dramatically reduced” sick-pay entitlement for those employed since it became an academy.
And it said suggestions from the school’s governing body that staff can make up for their lost entitlements by purchasing private insurance via moneymarket.com were “insulting.”
GMB regional official Clive Smith said new staff at Charlton Park not only have the worst terms and conditions in the borough but also compared with their colleagues in the same school.
“This is an unacceptable way to treat committed staff helping to educate and look after pupils with complex needs,” he said.
Greenwich NEU branch secretary Tim Woodcock explained: “Protection at work for rights such as sick pay, maternity leave and redundancy are rights that we have fought for and won over many years.
“Currently we have staff who are not protected by these rights. This is unacceptable. If all the teachers in Greenwich get these rights, and over half a million nationally, then why not at Charlton Park Academy?”
Staff are set for another 24-hour strike tomorrow.
The academy had not responded to requests for comment at time of going to press.