UNISON Cymru/Wales has warmly welcomed Vale of Glamorgan Council’s announcement that it is to pay the registration fees for its learning support workers after concerted lobbying by the union.
Learning support workers or teaching assistants do all those vital but unheralded jobs in our schools, supporting underperforming children and those with special educational needs, and helping teachers cope with large classes.
From April this year, all learning support workers in Wales will be required to be registered with the Education Workforce Council (EWC).
The registration fee is an annual payment of £15 per person. As the union for school support staff, UNISON has been campaigning for local authorities to pay the registration fee for all learning support workers in Wales.
The union reiterated this message recently to all Welsh council leaders at a joint meeting.
UNISON Vale of Glamorgan branch secretary Glenn Pappas said: “This is great news and a testament to dedicated UNISON campaigning. A registration fee of £15 when you are on a low-paid, term time-only contract is a lot of money for people to be expected to pay.”
UNISON Cymru/Wales lead organiser for schools Jess Turner said: “Councillor Chris Elmore, cabinet member for children’s services and schoolss and his colleagues must be commended for their decision.
“The Vale of Glamorgan follows Cardiff and Bridgend councils in committing to pay the levy and we call upon other local authorities to follow suit.
“UNISON will continue our campaigning efforts to ensure learning support workers get the fair recognition they deserve with decent training, a uniform career structure and fair pay.”