02 Jun 11

School support staff: 'betrayed by the Chancellor', let down by the employers

Commenting on "the future for support staff" in today's SecEd, Philip Parkin, General Secretary of Voice, which represents around 7,000 support staff members, said:

"It is disgraceful that support staff have been betrayed by the Chancellor who, in his 2010 Budget, promised that 'those earning £21,000 or less, will receive an increase of at least £250' not 'should' but 'will'.

"Support staff have been made to feel undervalued and their morale, as well as their pay, is now much lower than it should be."

Voice raised this anomalous situation with Secretary of State Michael Gove, pointing out that it would be grossly unfair and damaging for morale if a small number of low paid school staff (teachers on points 1-3 of the unqualified teacher scale points 1 and 2 and 1 in Outer and Inner London respectively) received the payment because they had a review body (the STRB) to recommend it, while others working alongside them (support staff) did not because of the lack of a review body and the decision by the Local Government Employers (LGE) who decided that, despite the Chancellor's recommendation of the additional £250, they would not make this payment to support staff.

Since the demise of the SSSNB, school support staff do not have a review body, leaving decisions in the hands of the employers.

It is a scandal that these hard-working, essential staff should be deprived of this payment through the lack of a review body. It should be remembered that it was the Government that abolished the recently-formed School Support Staff Negotiating Body.

Despite their pay freeze, support staff the lowest paid workers in schools still have to find the money for food, fuel, utility bills, mortgages, etc while inflation increases the cost of living, eroding their standard of living.

If you work in schools, what effect is all this having on you, or what effect will it have? What can you no longer afford?

Do let us know your thoughts

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