School support staffs pay, conditions and pensions will be threatened if Herts schools move away from local authority control
GMB has written to all the 26 head teachers in Hertfordshire whose schools have been identified as having registered interest in making their school into an academy, under the government’s new school scheme as early as September this year.
GMB is seeking assurances from all these head teachers that the existing pay conditions and Pensions of GMB members who work as teaching assistants, caretakers, cleaners, lunchtime supervisors, school secretaries, laboratory assistants and in many other support roles, will be remain unchanged. It has sent copies of this letter to all our members who would be affected by any such change in school status.
Warren Kenny, GMB Senior Organiser in Hertfordshire said, “Initially the government had withheld the names of the schools which had expressed an interest in academy status but following GMB pressure we now know which these are. In all the schools which may be made academies GMB has taken immediate action to ensure that GMB members who work as school support staff will not suffer jobs, pay, hours, conditions or pension cuts as a result of their head teacher moving the school to be an academy.
It is absolutely clear that support staff, parents and governors seem to have been left out of the discussions when considering the future of their schools. We have personally requested full consultation takes place so that everyone involved can make an informed decision about what this could mean for them in the long term. Equally as important is the potential damage this could do to the educational standards in schools as any new academy will be given the option to withdraw from adhering to the national curriculum.
GMB has sent TUPE (see notes) transfer letters to all head teachers in the 26 outstanding schools targeted for fast tracking by the government with another letter to all our school based members providing them with a copy of the letter we’ve sent their head teacher. This should provide support staff with the opportunity to express their opinions too and not sidelined as initially intended.
School support staff will do the same excellent job that they have always done regardless of whether or not their school is called an academy however, setting up a competitive culture within our educational system is divisive and will inevitably create a two tier educational system. The biggest losers will be our hard working school support staff, teachers and the educational needs of our children which must always be our priority.”