‘THE GLOVES ARE OFF’ School staff support body is abolished

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‘THE gloves are off on deregulation of staff pay and conditions,’ said teachers union NASUWT yesterday.

NASUWT General Secretary Chris Keates slammed the announcement by Education Secretary Gove of the abolition of the School Support Staff Negotiating Body (SSSNB).

Keates said: ‘This was not unexpected but is nevertheless an appalling decision by the Secretary of State.

‘Support staff in schools are essential members of the education team around the child.

‘The SSSNB was introduced to address the fact that in too many schools, support staff were not recognised or rewarded as professionals in their own right and were often exploited.

‘Employers have today been given a licence to exploit their staff.

‘Today’s decision is not only significant for support staff in schools, it is also highly significant for teachers.

‘This announcement clearly signals the intention to dismantle the national pay and conditions framework for teachers.

‘The Coalition Government’s ambition is clearly to abandon children and young people to the mercy of a free market free for all.

‘This is bad news for pupils, bad news for staff and bad news for the taxpayer.

‘The gloves are now clearly off. The NASUWT will be united with support staff colleagues in their fight for fair pay and decent working conditions.’

Unison head of education Christina McAnea said: ‘This is a bitter blow to the mainly women, overwhelmingly low paid, hard working and loyal support staff in schools.

‘Unison will be consulting our members on taking industrial action as a matter of urgency.

‘The coalition’s consultation process was a sham. It was obvious the government had made up its mind, right from the beginning, that schools support staff are not worthy of national pay and conditions.

‘We are calling for an immediate equality impact assessment, as it is likely this move will hit women hard.’

Brent NUT and ATL secretary Hank Roberts told News Line: ‘This government is deciding to deregulate everything.

‘It clearly wants to drive down wage levels and is deliberately driving up unemployment.

‘People have to stand up for themselves, organise and take whatever action is necessary to defend their standard of living.’

• The GMB union yesterday responded to a new report from Incomes Data Services which shows that FTSE-100 bosses saw earnings rise 55 per cent in the year to June 2010.

FTSE 100 chief executives took home £4.9 million on average in total earnings during the year.

GMB General Secretary Paul Kenny said: ‘Boardroom greed is alive and well under this Tory LibDem government.

‘This is scandalous at a time when workers up and down the land are suffering real cuts in their pay and to their services.

‘These people have no shame. Let us not forget that these are the same people urging the government to make deep cuts in jobs and services and in the welfare on which the poorest in our society rely.

‘GMB members are publicly challenging Vince Cable and George Osborne to “put your money where your mouth is” on boardroom greed’.