GMB CALL ON NICKY MORGAN TO RESPOND TO SCHOOL SUPPORT JOB LOSSES IN WORCESTERSHIRE AHEAD OF HER VISIT TO WORCESTERSHIRE
The Secretary of State should explain why frontline staff who help the most vulnerable pupils are under threat from losing their jobs says GMB
GMB, the trade union for school support staff, is calling on Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education, to explain the proposed job losses in school support. See GMB press release dated 27th October in Notes to Editors for further details.
Responding to a question about schools funding in Worcestershire, Nicky Morgan, announced in Parliament yesterday that the Government is committed to protecting the schools budget and implementing a manifesto pledge to make school funding fairer. She even went so far as to highlight extra government funding. But this comes just 5 days after the announcement that 104 School Support Staff in Worcestershire are set to lose their jobs due to cuts in council funding.
The job losses are set out in proposals put forward by the council contractor, Babcock International. This company took over the contract to provide 'Learning and Achievement' services for Worcestershire County Council at the start of October.
The contract is to provide direct support to pupils and to offer advice and help to schools on school admissions, post-16 education, teacher training and educational psychology.
The GMB understands that the council are set to pay Babcock International £3.8 million in the first year of the contract.
Justine Jones, GMB Birmingham & West Midlands Organiser, said, "The people of Worcestershire were told back in June that there would be no job losses on the Babcock contract."
We are now being told that the funding for schools is protected and ‘fair’. Why then is there 104 staff who support the most vulnerable pupils in our schools at risk of redundancy? This was the question that Nigel Huddleston MP should have asked Nicky Morgan yesterday. He failed to do that, so this is the question that GMB are asking Nicky Morgan. The Secretary of State should explain why frontline staff who help the most vulnerable pupils are under threat from losing their jobs."
Contact: Justine Jones 07834 416067 or Samantha Jones 07834416067 or 0121 550 4888 or GMB press office 07974 251823 or 07821 289880.
Notes to Editors:
Thursday 22nd October 2015
short title 104 School Support Job Cuts In Worcestershire
GMB CAMPAIGN AGAINST 104 SCHOOL SUPPORT STAFF JOB LOSSES ON NEWLY OUTSOURCED CONTRACT AT WORCESTERSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
Job losses will not only affect members but also the schools, parents, teachers and, most importantly, the children especially those with special needs says GMB
GMB the union for school support staff, plan to consult members, parents and other unions on a campaign to stop 104 school support staff jobs being cut at Worcestershire County Council.
A private sector company Babcock International was awarded a contract covering 391 workers in school support roles at the start of October 2015.
A consultation on these redundancies is now underway and is due to finish on December 6th. The jobs under threat include admin workers, teachers for disabled pupils and early years schooling.
Justine Jones, GMB Regional Officer, said "It is unacceptable that only weeks after Worcestershire Council handed over the ‘Learning and Achievement' function to a private company, that they are about to make 104 people redundant.
GMB opposed this outsourcing from the very beginning. We said at the time that jobs were under threat but this was denied by the council.
This was cynical and disgraceful as Worcestershire County Council was well aware of these job losses were on the cards when they awarded this contract to Babcock International. The council have washed their hands of these workers and the valuable work they do.
These job losses will not only affect GMB members employed by Babcock, but also the schools, parents, teachers and, most importantly, the children in the area, especially children with special needs.
GMB understands that the contract is for £3.8 million for the first year and that this may be cut to £2.1 million by October 2017. GMB also understands that this is part of an overall contract worth £38 million over five years. GMB intend to establish all the facts around this contract.
I have been informed that letters have gone out to members offering them the opportunity to apply for voluntary redundancy. I am in talks today with the council and the contractor to establish exactly what is being proposed.
GMB will consult with members and will seek to work with other unions and parents to campaign to get these job losses rescinded.
The Tory Government has made great play over them not cutting the education budget in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review. Worcestershire County Council has to be held to this."