The Durham Teaching Assistants deal: a critical perspective

A critical voice on the latest deal in the County Durham Teaching Assistants dispute, taken from the TAs’ facebook page:

“From a concerned supporter.

When the Lions voted no last time it was in complete solidarity with those losing out. No one was to be left behind. Then came a vague promise of a toothless “progression board”, a bunch of veiled threats from the union, the same old tiresome, repetitive bluster about the definitely final last offer ever, a scandalously worded ballot paper and suddenly 472 TAs have been lost to the whim of a council and union who have worked together to wear down, alarm and ultimately browbeat people into accepting their half-baked proposals.

And for what? Essentially for nothing more than the previous offer which was roundly rejected in solidarity with all those who were losing out.

I may be wrong and will hold my hands up if I am, but my instinct is that nothing whatsoever will come of this so-called progression board. DCC and their helpers in the union have their agreement now, and with a bunch of weasel words about ‘decisive’ ballots, Unison are already washing their hands of this. Their gamble: no one will remember the 472 in two years’ time. Everyone will have moved on and the so-called “progression” board will also have been long forgotten.

As for vague promises that HTs won’t enforce the additional hours, maybe we should we run a sweepstake on just how many hours or days (I doubt it’ll be as long as weeks) before the first HT says: “Show me where it says that in the contract you’ve just agreed”?

It’s a huge pity its ended like this for the TAs, that DCC and Unison have together inflicted so much damage on so many poorly paid, undervalued, yet highly dedicated people.

Unison who, nauseatingly, will parade themselves in front of the media in the coming days as heroes, should pay a heavy price for their shameful abandoning of workers in favour of their cosy relationship with the bosses. Sharing offices, sharing morning coffee and even sharing DCC’s email domain. Honest, the union really is working for you from its durham-dot-gov-dot-uk email address.

And as for DCC, they have consciously destroyed morale and trust in schools across the county for what? In order to satisfy a few bean counters and Blairites in County Hall? Eternal shame on them.

My solidarity remains with the Durham Lions and especially with the 472.”

About nothingiseverlost

"The impulse to fight against work and management is immediately collective. As we fight against the conditions of our own lives, we see that other people are doing the same. To get anywhere we have to fight side by side. We begin to break down the divisions between us and prejudices, hierarchies, and nationalisms begin to be undermined. As we build trust and solidarity, we grow more daring and combative. More becomes possible. We get more organized, more confident, more disruptive and more powerful."
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1 Response to The Durham Teaching Assistants deal: a critical perspective

  1. Pingback: No sell-out deal – stand in solidarity with the 472 teaching assistants, Durham, October 26 | Cautiously pessimistic

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