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Teaching assistants to strike over term-time contracts

Published 14/09/2016

Many assistants only get paid during term time following Government spending cuts, Unison said
Many assistants only get paid during term time following Government spending cuts, Unison said

Teaching assistants will go on strike on Wednesday as part of a campaign against term-time contracts.

Members of Unison in Derby will walk out and lobby MPs in Westminster, with workers in Durham facing a similar dispute.

Unison said unlike teachers, many assistants only get paid during term time following Government spending cuts.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: "School support staff are among the UK's lowest paid workers, yet they are paying the price of continued Government spending cuts.

"The squeeze on finances from Westminster means that councils are operating within a financial straitjacket, but penalising some of the lowest paid workers in society is quite simply the wrong decision.

"The impact on family budgets will be huge and could mean people end up in debt and relying on benefits. Teachers couldn't teach without teaching assistants, and parents - who know only too well the value of the work they do - will be horrified at the way they are being treated. These employees deserve much better.

"When Theresa May became Prime Minister, she said her Government would be driven by the interests of ordinary working class families. If that's true, she should start by calling time on spending cuts and start funding our public services properly. Then councils wouldn't have to hammer low-paid school staff."

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