Talks to stop school strike

EMERGENCY talks are being held this week to avert strike action that would close the borough s only special needs school. Last Thursday teaching assistants at Trinity School in Heathway, Dagenham, voted overwhelmingly to stage a walk-out over a pay dispu

EMERGENCY talks are being held this week to avert strike action that would close the borough's only special needs school.

Last Thursday teaching assistants at Trinity School in Heathway, Dagenham, voted overwhelmingly to stage a walk-out over a pay dispute.

The disagreement centres around the special educational needs allowance which is paid to Trinity's teachers.

Support staff who work as co-educators, midday assistants and instructors also want to be paid the �1,912 allowance which they do not currently get.

Teachers are not involved in the dispute.

Of the 90 GMB union members at the school, 86 per cent voted in favour of taking strike action.

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If all the staff were to stage a walk-out the school would almost certainly have to close for the day causing huge inconvenience to parents.

Justin Bowden, senior organiser for the GMB union, said: "They are not seeking parity with teachers but they do expect some financial recognition of their work .

A council spokesman said: "The council is actively involved in discussions to resolve this issue. We hope to avoid any disruption to pupils and parents.