School support staff demand pay rise

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School support staff this week launched a campaign to get higher wages and plan to put their demands to Bucks County Council.

Twenty people met with representatives from UNISON to discuss their next move after what they say are years of zero or low pay increases.

Teaching assistants, caretakers and midday supervisors are amongst 200 people who have joined the campaign.

UNISON spokesman Stuart Melvin told the Herald: “We will enter a pay claim to Bucks County Council for all our members and that includes support staff in schools.

“The role of teaching assistants has changed a lot and they are often very skilled, doing work with special needs children and helping with lesson preparation.

“But they have had zero or low pay awards for the last few years.”

Mr Melvin said 95% of head teachers recognised the importance of the support staff who were vital to the running of their schools, but many workers are now having to take second jobs or are sufferign from low morale and stress.