MPs condemn plan to cut teaching assistants' pay
Last updated at 15:02, Friday, 18 March 2011
CUMBRIAN MPs have hit out at county council plans to slash teaching assistants’ pay.
Under Cumbria County Council plans, full-time teaching assistants typically face a pay cut of £3,600 a year from September next year, although some grades face bigger reductions.
The cuts follow Cumbria County Council’s single status review, which is
designed to remove anomalies that could give rise to equal-pay claims.
Politicians debated the
controversial plan, led by Workington MP Tony
Cunningham in a House of Commons debate on Wednesday night.
Barrow MP John Woodcock told the debate: “Teaching assistants have played a very important role in raising standards in classrooms across Cumbria.
“It is children across the county who will ultimately lose out if their role is not properly recognised. There is a real danger that many excellent assistants will be lost to schools if they are no longer able to make ends meet. Everybody recognises that this process has been difficult, but the council have the opportunity to put this right through the
appeals process. They need to take that.”
In the 30-minute Commons debate Mr Cunningham said: “The campaign is about
trying to protect the terms and conditions of teaching assistants but there is a
bigger picture. The route the county council are going down is wrong and will
damage morale in schools and damage the chances of our children. It is not just the lives of the teaching assistants such a move will affect but the lives of all our
children and young people.”
“The message to the county council is that they have got this completely wrong and they must think again and listen to the people on the street.”
A Commons petition
condemning the move has been laid by Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim
Farron, who also spoke out in defence of the assistants, along with Copeland MP Jamie Reed.
Mr Farron said: “It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever and I am outraged that the Tory-led county council are attempting to push this through. Teaching assistants play a vital role in educating our children and it is hugely important that we do everything we can to protect their salaries and the invaluable contribution they provide in the education of our children.
“What the council are
proposing is essentially the downgrading of the position of teaching assistants and
being dishonest about the role they currently fill.
“I know from my own
children’s school how vital their role is, how skilled it is and how much the school depends upon them.
“They are being dealt a huge injustice and I know that teachers and parents across South Lakeland will agree with me.”
The single status review
affects 10,000 council
workers and 6,500 posts in schools.
First published at 15:01, Friday, 18 March 2011
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Sorry I am sick of all this I work as a "behaviour/inclusion support worker" I do the exact same as my sta peers, I work 33 hours a week, they work 30 and I get paid nearly 90 pound less a month! They do a grand job so do I, there is no difference we both support in lessons do massive amounts of paperwork, attend meetings, visits write IEPS the only difference is our pay, and our job titles! Under this new agreement we are now equal. Should we be paid more, sure, but I took my job quite simply because there are NO JOBS! It honestly sickens me to be told well you took those conditions, you signed that contract, so for the next 12 months from september they still will be earning more than me, for doing the same job for less hours. Two sides to every story, and to be honest there are a lot of really good staff in schools, adminm, science tecs, lib staff who are also losing out, even though they are on term time and 37 hour a week contracts, who was there for them when they were getting paid less for working more hours? at least this is a more fairer system. I and others spoke to our union reps and were told equal pay will make it fair, now all they care about is ta's, it really stinks, ta's feel undervalued? what about us? I for one would be happy if you paid me for another year under their terms and conditions.
Once more could I congratulate the TAs for their superb job in getting so much publicity and political pressure for their plight. And, could I add that CCC are imposing this crazy Single Status farce on thousands of workers, not just TAs. As an Adult Education tutor, we have had our hourly rates halved and I will now be earning half the salary as colleagues in FE colleges for teaching the same courses. And CCC call this "fairness and equality"!