Union fights to keep support teachers’ jobs

Matthew Waterfall from Hackney Unison

Matthew Waterfall from Hackney Unison

Eleven teachers and support staff, working with some of the boroughs most vulnerable children, could be made redundant.

Hackney Unison is campaigning to find alternative jobs for them. The Learning Trust, which runs all the education services in the borough, has had £468,000 cut from its behaviour unit budget.

The behaviour unit deals with children who have been excluded or are at risk of being excluded from mainstream education.

It is made up of three areas; the Pupil Referral Unit in Clissold Park, The New Regent’s College and a team of outreach workers.

The branch secretary of Hackney Unison, Matthew Waterfall, said: “Naturally it is going to have an impact on the level of service and the level of resources that these pupil referral units have, to work with difficult children; to sit them down, to take them out of classes when they are being disruptive etc.”

Mr Waterfall strongly believes that the eleven teachers could be redeployed into vacant teaching posts in the borough and, he told ELL that Hackney Unison, is campaigning to find alternative work for them.

He said: “We have had a lot of difficulty over the years with the Learning Trust on redeployment, so that when people are displaced they are put into jobs that are vacant. The Trust has always been reluctant to deal with that.

“So what we are trying to do is force the issue through here. If we can redeploy, then we save money on redundancy and notice periods”.

A spokeswoman for The Learning Trust said: “We’ve been working extremely closely with the unions throughout the consultation period, which has not yet concluded, so we are disappointed at their comments to the contrary.

“As discussed with the unions, we would look for redeployment opportunities. We have avoided compulsory redundancies in four cases so far and we are also discussing voluntary redundancy options.

“Pupils will not be affected as we have looked across all settings to ensure we can meet current and anticipated pupil numbers.

“These savings are necessary as a result of the spending cuts and ending of grants.”

Mr Waterfall remains optimistic as The Trust have now given him a list of potential redeployment opportunities. The consultation period ends this week.

Hear the interview with Matthew Waterfall in this audio version:

Leave a Reply