We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

MP blasts county council as a ‘disgrace’ after staff threatened with sacking over single status

June 22, 2011 12:37 PM

Tim Farron MP at Kendal Nursery SchoolSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has today blasted Cumbria County Council as a 'disgrace' over plans to send letters to school support staff this weekend threatening to sack them if they don't sign the controversial new contracts under the council's single status plans.

The plans have come to light as draft 'dismissal and re-engagement letters' have been circulated to schools despite some staff not yet having received their new contracts and other still being involved in stage three appeals.

Tomorrow (Thursday) teaching assistants from across the county will hand over a petition signed by over 1100 local residents to the county council asking them to think again about the single status plans.

The draft letters say: "Unfortunately, despite a reminder, it appears that to date you have not confirmed your agreement to these terms and conditions by signing and returning the revised contact. As a consequence it is now necessary to give you notice of implementation." The single status team say in a covering letter that: "Dismissal and re-engagement notices will be issued to staff home addresses on Saturday 25th June thereby allowing for staff to receive their new contracts from you beforehand."

Over 3,000 stage 2 appeals to the single status process were recently successful. Tim has been leading the campaign to the make the county council see sense over their controversial single status plans.

Tim has also joined with MPs from across the county to write to every other English local authority to ask them for details of their implementation of single status. To date around fifty replies have been received - all indicating that there were either no pay cuts or only minor pay cuts to teaching assistants salaries.

In a further damning indictment of Cumbria County Council, who have recognised there is a sufficient issue around the work teaching assistants do compared to their contracts that they will launch a review in September, other councils made sure that issue was solved before single status was implemented.

Commenting today Tim said: "I am angry at the blasé attitude of the Conservative-led administration at the county council. Simply put the council are a disgrace and have let down so many hard working public servants with this single status project.

"Staff who care for our children, look after our most vulnerable and provide vital community services are now being short changed and I think enough is now enough.

"The council must now stand up and admit they have made a mistake, apologise and put it right immediately.

"Single status has been going since 1997 and now it is being used to cost cut and is a lowest form of politics - I think they should hang their head in shame."