Support and solidarity pours in for Durham teaching assistants

Today Durham teaching assistants are taking part in their second period of industrial action, with further action planned in their fight against a 23% pay cut.

UNISON will stand behind our teaching assistant members every step on the way until this dispute is resolved – but we’re also receiving support for the dispute from across our movement and around the world.

Today we received the following from Europe-wide public services union EPSU, which shows the strength of feeling over this injustice:

EPSU solidarity with striking teaching assistants

Dear Dave,

Please pass on our solidarity greetings to the teaching assistants in Durham who are on strike today in protest against the county council’s proposed pay cuts. We hope that this second two-day action will be successful but also express our support their planned work-to-rule following the strike.

We strongly agree with you that the council is acting in an appalling and heartless way by imposing massive pay cuts on this group of low-paid, mainly women workers. We note that the majority for strike action was over 90% and hope that this strength of feeling and the national backing from UNISON will lead to a successful outcome.

We see this as not just about opposing austerity and preventing that the most vulnerable workers don’t pay the price, but also about equality and ensuring that the work of an important group of women employees is not undervalued.

Yours in solidarity,

Jan Willem Goudriaan

EPSU general secretary