MORE than one thousand people are estimated to have descended on the streets of Durham City to show their support for teaching assistants. Bolton UNISON attended to show solidarity with our comrades.
The march witnessed school workers from across the county were joined by fellow professionals from across the country and trade union activists in what protestors called a show of solidarity.
After meeting in Millennium Square, the chanting protestors snaked their way through the city to the Miners’ Hall at Redhills – calling on Durham County Council for fairness and certainty in what has been a bitter dispute over pay and contracts.
Anne Richardson, chairman of Durham County Teaching Assistant Activists Committee, said: “This was organised as a solidarity event.
“Since Christmas when we went on strike and the council decided to suspend our dismissal, the public thought we had gone quiet.
“We’re not going to go quiet until it’s a done deal.
“A lot of the TAs have been through a lot of stress and they say they can’t sit quiet and relax until we know we’ve got a piece of paper that says ‘I’m secure in my job’. “Leader of Durham County Council Councillor Simon Henig told a meeting of the full council this week that the project group set up in December to complete a review of teaching assistant roles and job descriptions was “extremely close” to confirming new grading proposals.
The announcement followed a council U-turn in December, when it agreed to suspend plans to sack and re-hire teaching assistants following strike action over proposed new contracts.