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School Support Staff Negotiating Body Talks Continue

Please see below for the text of recent circular which contains details of the latest developments in the ongoing SSSNB negotiations.

It was reported in circular ED/47/10 that TUC General Secretary, Brendan Barber, would write to the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, to request a meeting with the education unions to discuss the abolition of the SSSNB. Without this commitment, support unions would be unable to attend the following education partnership meeting on 17 November and teaching unions would support them.

The final meeting of the SSSNB Executive Group was held on the morning of the 16 November and Michael Gove agreed to meet the TUC and education unions in the afternoon. He repeated the three reasons for abolition of the SSSNB: the employers don’t want it; it contradicts the government’s direction of travel towards autonomy for schools and away from non departmental bodies. UNISON confirmed that our intention to achieve a fair and consistent pay and grading framework for school support staff with statutory underpinning to ensure implementation, remains. The discussion moved to future possibilities and Gove did not discount the DfE providing the funds to finish the work of establishing the pay and grading framework.

The situation is still extremely delicate and UNISON is seeking support from others, such as the Association of School and College Leaders, to help convince the government that the wider school workforce is worthy of investment.

The education white paper released yesterday focused on teachers with an encouraging statement about the important role of bursars/business managers but with a fleeting comment about the importance of other school staff. This again suggests that there is a mountain to climb in demonstrating to the government that there is a wide range of staff in the school team vital to teaching and learning.

You can also download a copy of this circular by clicking on the following link.

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