Trinity staff to vote on strike action

STAFF at Trinity special school are tomorrow (Thursday) voting on strike action. Ninety support workers at the school in Heathway, Dagenham, will decide whether or not to stage a walkout over council bosses failure to give them a special teaching allowan

STAFF at Trinity special school are tomorrow (Thursday) voting on strike action.

Ninety support workers at the school in Heathway, Dagenham, will decide whether or not to stage a walkout over council bosses' failure to give them a special teaching allowance.

They could force the school, which teaches around 280 special needs pupils aged three to 19, to shut on Thursday, Feb 26.

The GMB union members argue they should, like teachers, receive a payment accounting for their specialised work with children who have profound learning and physical disabilities.


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GMB stressed they were not seeking the full �1,912 special educational needs allowance payment.

GMB senior organiser Justin Bowden said: "The borough's failure to take seriously the GMB members' claim for a special educational needs allowance for over two years has brought the school to the brink of strike action.

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"These school support workers are dedicated to the education of their special pupils and that they are prepared to contemplate taking strike action shows their anger and frustration.

"They are not seeking parity with teachers but they do expect some financial recognition of their work from their employer."

GMB said Trinity had a high ratio of support staff, adding that a strike would prevent it functioning properly and could lead to its closure.

A Barking and Dagenham Council spokesman said: "The council is actively involved in discussions with Trinity School and the GMB to resolve this issue. We hope to avoid any disruption to pupils and their parents.

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