Derby school support staff vote for council pay offer

Striking teaching assistants outside Derby City Council

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Some teaching assistants will share £2m in order to compensate for loss of hours following the contract changes

Teaching assistants in Derby have voted to end months of strike action over changes to pay and working time.

It brings to an end a row over Derby City Council’s changes to school support staff contracts, which Unison said would see individual teaching assistants lose £6,000 a year.

A cash lump sum for some of those affected has been agreed.

Derby City Council said it was “delighted” the contract offer had been accepted.

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The long-running dispute, in which teaching assistants had been supported by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, had forced some schools to close during strike action.

Parents also raised concerns during strikes that it was having a negative effect on children.

This new deal that has been agreed will see the worst-hit workers share £2m to compensate the loss of hours.

The offer also includes a new 52-week flexible contract for all support staff starting in September.

‘Heads held high’

“School support staff are relieved this dispute is behind them,” Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said.

“Now they can concentrate on the great work they do helping children in the city’s schools.

“School support staff can go into work with their heads held high, knowing that the value of the work they do for children and schools has been recognised.”

The council’s initial pay review centred on what it said were “inconsistencies”, where some teaching assistants were being paid the same amount as other employees who worked more hours.

Councillor Baggy Shanker, from Derby City Council, said: “This [vote] allows us to move on now.

“All our teaching staff are back at work as they have been for the last couple of weeks.

“I’m absolutely delighted it’s over.”

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