Plym Academy workers back on strike

Teaching assistants, administration staff and meal time assistants in Plymouth schools are today on strike over pay for the second time in a fortnight.

Support staff at Plym Academy Trust are protesting over being paid up to 56p less per hour than others in similar roles locally.

Their low wages are the result of the multi-academy Trust failing to implement a pay award last year, according to UNISON. The wages of support staff contrast with the Trust’s top five earners who now share an annual income of more than £325,000.

UNISON is calling on the Trust to honour the pay award which has been implemented by the vast majority (90%) of academies country-wide.

Teaching assistant Joanne Pridham said: “We don’t know what else to do to get our point across – all of us feel so unappreciated. It’s unfair that we’re now one of the lowest paid schools in the county.”

Plymouth in UNISON branch secretary Kevin Treweeks said: “Support staff have suffered massive real term pay cuts but do hugely important jobs that keep schools running. They help children’s learning in the classroom, provide special educational needs support, staff reception and communicate with parents, clean and maintain the school, and provide children with nutritious meals.

“The Trust have awarded their senior employees significant increases over the past two years. We’re calling on Plymouth Academy Trust to pay up for the lowest paid now.”

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