Derby teaching assistants protest

Parents are now becoming frustrated with the constant closure of schools in Derby because teaching assistants are continuing to strike over their ongoing pay dispute with the city council.

Following a 24-hour vigil at the council house last month, many parents thought that this would be the end of striking action, which has caused many schools to close and parents forced to lose money through taking time off work to look after children.

Parents are also concerned that children taking SATS tests this year before moving on to secondary school are also losing out of vital teaching.

The Derby branch of Unison has given Derby City Council three days to come up with a solution.

The dispute is over the council’s proposal to cut pay for teaching assistants by 25%, equivalent to losing £6,000 in a year.

Portway Junior School have had teaching assistants, mid-supervisors and office staff participate in a total of five strike days in just this week alone (beginning March 13th).

“I DON’T WANT HIM OR OTHER CHILDREN MISSING OUT ON THEIR EDUCATION”
NAOMI BENNETT, MOTHER

Naomi Bennett, whose son attends Portway Junior School, said: “I support the protest, they’re not just teaching assistants, they’re parents and they have families and mortgages to pay as well.

“But my son is missing too much education now, he’s bored and tired of being at home with me, I’ve had to take time off to look after him, I hope the pay dispute gets sorted soon as I don’t want him or other children missing out on their education.”

James Olner, a protest organiser for Derby Unison said: “I want something that we can put to our members so we can solve this dispute, at the minute they’ve made two offers before Christmas that were very divisive and didn’t solve the issue at hand so they need to come back with something, we know they’ve got the money to do that.”