‘United, we can win’ says Dave Prentis as he joins Derby picket

‘You are the union’ general secretary tells striking teaching assistants in Derby, battling imposed 25% pay cut

Head and shoulders photo of Dave Prentis and striking Derby teaching assistants

“United together, we will win this dispute!” That was the message general secretary Dave Prentis took with him as he joined striking teaching assistants and schools support staff on the picket line in Derby this morning.

More than 1,000 UNISON members were on strike today, their eighth week of action and their fourth strike, after Derby city council imposed a 25% pay cut.

That is a move which Mr Prentis called simply “immoral”, adding: “It’s wrong and we must stop them.”

Striking teaching assistants and general secretary Dave Prentis outside a school in Derby

The UNISON general secretary recalled that he had joined the school workers when they lobbied MPs at Westminster and when they lobbied the Labour party conference.

And, he said, “I am with you again today and I will be with you throughout this dispute until we get back the money you deserve.

“The resources of the union are behind your dispute,” added Mr Prentis when he spoke to a meeting of strikers. “It’s why you’re in a union.”

Video still of Dave Prentis speaking

But more than that, he said, “we can win because of people like you – you are the union.”

As well as mounting picket lines, the teaching assistants went out into the streets to leaflet council leader Ranjit Banwait’s ward, speak to their community and rally support for their case.

You can send a message of support to the strikers on the Derby City UNISON Facebook page and donate financial support to their cause via the JustGiving website.