Derby public backs striking school staff

76% of people who responded to survey about the strike back UNISON members defending their pay

Striking school support staff in Derby have received a boost, with news that a survey for local paper the Derby Telegraph shows substantial local support for them.

The paper reported that more than 1,000 people had responded and, three quarters “agreed with the industrial action”.

The long-running dispute is over council plans to move support staff over to term-time contracts, with some of the workforce facing cuts to their pay of up to 25%.

UNISON members have already taken two days of strike action this January and, with the council saying that it would only compensate some of the staff whose pay is threatened, they are on strike again from 7am to 1pm every day this week.

The staff affected include teaching assistants, admin workers and lunch supervisors.

And the union is taking legal advice after the council wrote to head teachers suggesting they ask volunteers to cover the roles affected.

The Derby Telegraph also reported that one mother, who wished to remain anonymous, had told the paper that her own child’s school had been appealing for parents to look after children, even though they would be unchecked and untrained.

The mother said that she supported the strike, and added that “using parents to break the strike is not right.”