“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.”
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.”
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.