UNISON members at The Victoria Education Centre in Poole have been left with little alternative than to take strike action today (2 November) after eighteen months of obfuscation and frustration as the employer, Livability continue in failing to deliver a much needed pay rise for members.
Mike Cracknell, UNISON Regional Organiser said; “The strength of feeling was so high that a formal industrial action ballot generated a whopping 81% response rate of which 97% showed their anger and voted in favour of taking action.”
“Members strive daily to create a nurturing and inclusive environment for children with dedicated and skilled support staff as the backbone of the school community, working tirelessly to ensure that every child receives the support they need to thrive.”
UNISON members now find themselves at a critical juncture following 18 months of pay negotiations with Livability, without reaching a fair pay offer that addresses historic low pay comparable to other school settings across Dorset and Nationally. School support staff salaries have not kept pace with the rising cost of living, leaving many staff struggling to make ends meet. It’s been nearly two years since some staff received a pay increase. This financial strain is driving talented staff away, seeking better opportunities elsewhere.
Rhian Rothery, Senior Teaching assistant and Unison Workplace Representative has said “We have been paid low in comparison to local schools for a very long time. After a lot of time and effort over the last year and a half trying to reach an agreement without success, our members felt the next step was to strike. We love our job and that is why we are here, strike is the last thing we want to do but we deserve fair pay. We would all much prefer to be doing what we love, caring for and supporting our students”.
Mike Cracknell : 0789 031 0676