GMB welcomes agreement with Swindon Borough Council over schools staff pay

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GMB welcomes agreement with Swindon Borough Council over proposed changes to pay scales for school support staff.

GMB, the trade union for school support staff, has reached agreement with Swindon Borough Council over proposed changes to pay scales that would have affected teaching assistants, caretakers, school librarians, administrative staff and other school workers in Swindon schools. (See notes to editors for copies of previous GMB press releases)

The Council have agreed to GMB’s proposals that mean no existing staff will lose any money with the introduction of the new pay scales, after a ballot of over 500 GMB members in Swindon schools led to a 96% rejection of the initial proposals.

The initial plans would have meant staff taking between an extra 2 and 4 years to reach the top of their pay scales, and would have resulted in a ‘slow motion’ pay cut, with some staff losing up to £1,765 per year.

The new agreement is that for all eligible staff recruited prior to 31st August 2016, they will progress two pay scale increments per year instead of one, which means that there will be no financial detriment.

In Swindon, many of the schools are now self administered Academies, who do not have to follow Swindon Borough Council’s terms and condition. GMB had already reached agreement with several Academies who had confirmed that they would not be introducing the pay cut.

GMB balloted over 400 Academy staff at the end of December, who were likely to have been affected by the proposed change, because their employers follow Swindon Borough Council’s pay, terms and conditions. These Academy staff also overwhelmingly rejected the changes, and GMB will be contacting each of these Academies to ensure that the new successful resolution extends to them.

Carole Vallelly, GMB Regional Organiser, said “This is a fantastic result for our members, and means that no existing staff will now face a reduction in their pay increments.  We are also delighted that Swindon Borough Council entered into positive and constructive dialogue with GMB, and we believe that those talks have reached an outcome that benefits everyone.

 The changes were a bit complicated, and not the same for everyone, but for example, under the original proposals some staff who would have had a £350 second year increment in April 2017 will now get £883.

 Some of our members had therefore been facing a significant financial loss each year, which is a huge amount for staff who are not particularly well paid, but after our members rejected the new proposals, Swindon Borough Council have agreed to pay existing staff 2 points per year to make the increments up to the level they would have expected under the old pay scales.  We are pleased that we have come to an amicable resolution with Swindon Council, which means our members will not lose out.” 

not implementing the pay cut, and has written to several hundred members in those schools explaining that the changes will not have any detrimental effect on them.