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Sheffield Teaching Assistants In Strike Ballot

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

School Support Staff Jobs Under Threat As Part Of Proposed Restructuring At Sheffield Park Academy.

GMB members love their jobs and the kids they support and what they really want is to continue doing exactly that but If this mass sacking goes ahead they feel that they have no option open to them so they've voted to proceed to an industrial action ballot says GMB.

GMB members working as support staff at Sheffield Park Academy could be balloted for strike action over a proposal to cuts their jobs as part of a restructuring which could result in staff being served with dismissal notices by April 1.

This reduction will see classroom support disappear for most whilst the remaining roles are also changed significantly to include new posts of business support and communications managers. TA's and other support staff will be sacrificed to get more well paid managers into the academies offices, it's an insult to the entire staff structure, their efforts over the past year, parents and the community alike and our members are incensed. At a meeting last night it was clear our members don't want to strike, they love their jobs and the kids they support, what really want is to continue doing exactly that but if this mass sacking goes ahead they felt that they had no other option open to them and hence they've voted to proceed to an industrial action ballot.

Head teacher Craig Dillon has told parents in a letter than the school is overstaffed following a decrease in the number of child, but GMB believes that pupil numbers will rise again in 2015.

The news comes months after Sheffield Park Academy, Manor, run by United Learning Trust, celebrated its best-ever GCSE results after years of below average grades and bad Ofsted reports.

At a meeting GMB recommended strike action over the job cuts.

Peter Davies, GMB Organiser said, “This reduction will see classroom support disappear for most, whilst the remaining roles will be changed significantly to include new posts of business support and communications managers.

Teaching Assistants and other school support staff will be sacrificed to get more well paid managers into the academies offices.

It's an insult to the entire staff structure, their efforts over the past year, parents and the community alike and our members are incensed. At a meeting last night it was clear GMB members don't want to strike. They love their jobs and the kids they support. What they really want is to continue doing exactly that but if this mass sacking goes ahead they feel that they had no other option open to them and hence they've voted to proceed to an industrial action ballot.

A huge amount of work has gone into improving this school and rather than a congratulations the staff are threatened with losing their jobs.  This is their reward for helping to turn the school around. here was a huge budget deficit but over the past 18 months they’ve managed to turn that around. Instead of celebrating that they are looking where they can cut further.

The school is justifying the proposed cuts by comparing Sheffield Park to a school in Stockport. This school is in a deprived and very diverse part of Sheffield. It is a very difficult catchment area and this is going to have a massive impact.”

Ends

Contact: Peter Davies, GMB Organiser on 07501 228313 or GMB Press Office: 07974 251823.

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