Staff to strike at primary school in Dagenham
- Credit: Paul Bennett
A school in Dagenham faces strike action over plans to make pay cuts and demotions.
Staff at Valence Primary - which has sites in St George's Road and Bonham Road - are due to walk out on Wednesday, June 30.
Almost half of workers face reduced salaries, according to the National Education Union (NEU).
Dominic Byrne, NEU secretary for Barking and Dagenham, said: "We are very disappointed that we have had to call members out on strike. The school’s plans are unnecessary and misconceived."
He added if talks fail with the conciliatory service ACAS, members will go ahead with the action.
You may also want to watch:
The school's chair of governors, Avril McIntyre, said the primary is doing everything it can to resolve the issue and is being flexible in its approach, urging the union to follow suit.
"We regret this disruption to the education of our young people, who have already been affected by the pandemic.
- 1 Dagenham pop-up shop sees young people sell their products and share skills
- 2 Road and rail round-up: Disruptions to travel in east London this week
- 3 Men reportedly 'impersonated officers' to get access to Barking home
- 4 380 homes and commercial space set to be built at Dagenham Dock
- 5 Ops planned as Barking and Dagenham marks London Trading Standards Week
- 6 Jailed: Man who crashed stolen van then headbutted police officer
- 7 Dagenham advance in FA Cup with two late goals at Wealdstone
- 8 Stephen Port inquests: Detective apologises to families for mistakes
- 9 Chain of 10,000 teddies to be displayed in memory of toddler Ava
- 10 'Life is hard, why make it harder?': Protesters call for new consultation over parking scheme roll out
"This further loss of education for a management restructure is definitely not in the interests of our children," she said.
The school maintains the changes are part of a management restructuring which would not come into effect until 2024.
It argues a significant drop in pupil numbers has seen its funding cut to the point where it cannot afford to continue current pay levels.
Ms McIntyre said the changes would affect 15 staff members out of 46, with some pay cuts and demotions, but no forced redundancies.
The disagreement centres on pay rewards for extra responsibilities undertaken by teachers.
The primary wants to bring their number, level and value in line with similarly sized schools. But the NEU says the savings amount to less than £50,000 a year.
Mr Byrne said: "In a large school, this could easily be found through agreement, but all the staff’s suggestions to avoid pay cuts and demotions have been rejected.
"Valence Primary provides excellent teaching and learning but pay cuts and demotions will lead to experienced staff leaving and that will be bad for the children and school."
He added "management intransigence" left NEU members with no other choice than to call a strike.
Unless agreement is reached, the NEU also threatens strikes on July 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15.
Mr Byrne said: "Support for the strike is strong and we expect the school will be closed on every strike day."