Highland Council Pupil Support Staff Vote Overwhelmingly For Strike Ballot Against Service ‘Stealth Cuts’
Pupil support staff in Highland Council have today (Monday 29 April) voted overwhelmingly to move to an industrial action ballot against a ‘stealth cuts’ plan for the future of service delivery.
In a consultative ballot of GMB Scotland members, staff voted by a massive majority of over 93 per cent against proposals for the re-deployment of 63 Additional Support Needs (ASN) staff across the local authority.
The staff re-deployment plan is part of a £700,000 cuts agenda for 2019 across additional support needs services in Highland Council schools, with a further £1 million a year in budget reductions earmarked for 2020 and 2021.
Local GMB representatives have said the undefined re-deployment plan could leave already hard-pressed staff faced with the prospect of unmanageable work-life balance changes.
GMB will formally notify Highland Council of the ballot result at this evening’s AGM.
GMB Scotland Senior Organiser Drew Duffy said: “GMB members have overwhelmingly rejected their employer’s stealth cuts plan for the future of additional support needs delivery in our schools.
“For years our members have been working longer and harder with less resource and for less pay in real terms; a challenging working environment isn’t getting any easier and these proposals are the final straw for many staff.
“We warned the council their plans were unacceptable and ignorant of the realities of employment within the Highlands region, never mind running roughshod over any work-life balance commitments of our members.
“When an employer attempts to impose a flawed process that’s driven by cuts and not consultation, they cannot be shocked when the scale of rejection against them is so significant.
“Our message to the council is clear: Listen to the voice of your staff and our members - step back from these proposals and let’s talk about the future of service delivery together to avoid the real possibility of industrial action.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Senior Organiser Drew Duffy on 07912 560806 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.