Teaching Assistants in County Durham hold a protest outside County Hall in Durham over proposals to cut their pay.

Teaching Assistants in County Durham hold a protest outside County Hall in Durham over proposals to cut their pay.

Durham’s overwhelmingly Labour-run county council seems determined to fire 2,700 teaching assistants, only to re-hire them on humiliatingly miserly contracts.

The penny-pinching move would deprive staff members of up to a quarter of their annual pay.

Worse than that, though: It would deprive teaching assistants of any confidence in their employers.

This behaviour is inappropriate in members of the Labour Party.

It displays a callous disregard of the needs of people who spend their entire working lives supporting the next generation of Durham’s population.

Not only that, but the money paid to them goes into – and supports – the local economy. Cutting it back means harming the county’s balance sheet.

And who will be next for the chop? Teachers? It could be argued (wrongly) that they only work the same hours as teaching assistants. Why not cut their pay too?

Or – here’s a good one – a group of people who work only a handful of hours every week, and take a whole month off in the middle of the year, but are paid at least £13,300, no matter what:

County councillors.

Durham County Council looks set to push ahead with plans to terminate the contracts of 2,700 members of staff in an unprecedented move following a row over terms and conditions.

Council bosses have recommended a proposal to dismiss and re-engage all of the teaching assistants working across County Durham, re-employing them under new term time only contracts which unions say will leave staff out of pocket by up to 25%.

This comes at the end of a long running dispute and Unison representatives say staff may take industrial action over the plans.

Source: Durham Council to vote on firing and re-hiring 2,700 members of staff over contract dispute – Chronicle Live

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