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School transport workers to strike over pay issues

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School transport workers to strike tomorrow over poverty pay and long standing pay issues. We had hoped that these issues could have been resolved peacefully but we have been waiting in vain for a pay offer for over three months and our members have decided that enough is enough, says GMB Southern

  • GMB members who work for CT Plus in Wandsworth will be taking industrial action tomorrow (17 July) over long standing issues over pay. 
     
    Many of the workers, who support pupils with Special Educational Needs to get to and from school, were employed by Wandsworth Council before they were transferred out to the private contractor CT Plus. Because of this transfer, the staff are on different sets of terms and conditions and pay, with the rates differing significantly from other staff doing the same job.
     
    A 2 tier workforce is also operating on the contract, with some of the workforce earning as little as £8.60. The workforce have been due a pay rise since 1 April and despite an offer bringing people up to £9.02 the workforce have still voted 100% in support of industrial action.
     
    Even with the offer some workers would still be paid significantly under the London Living Wage of £10.55 which is the minimum it costs to live in the capital. Those on the terms transferred form the council are still owed back pay which is now over a year late.
     
    Details of the picket line are as follows:
     
    Wednesday 17 July
     
    6:00 AM to 10:00 AM
     
    Frogmore Depot
    Dormay Street
    Wandsworth
    SW18 1EY
     
     
    Andy Prendergast, GMB Senior Organiser said:
     
    "These members who support pupils with Special Educational Needs to get to and from school do a very challenging job. Some of them drive the vehicles and others are personal assistants supporting pupils onto and off of the vehicles. They are a vital lifeline for some of these children who wouldn’t be able to access education without them. 
     
    "Our members take a huge amount of pride in the work they do, making sure that vulnerable children get taken to and from school safely every day and striking is the last thing they want to do.
     
    "However, the fact is that they are getting vastly different wages and terms and conditions for performing exactly the same job. Those on CT Plus contracts are paid almost £2 per hour below the London Living wage, a rate that is quite frankly an insult considering the work they do and the care they show the children. 
     
    "We had hoped that these issues could have been resolved peacefully but we have been waiting in vain for a pay offer for over three months and our members have decided that enough is enough."
     
    ENDS
     
    Contact: Andy Prendergast 07984 492726 or GMB Southern Press Office 07970 114762