Leaked Report Indicates Scrapping of School Support Staff Body

24 Sep 2010

GMB reacts to a report that the ConDem government is set to scrap the School Support Staff National Negotiating Body.

The SSSNB was established by statute with all party support in 2009 to negotiate school support staff pay and conditions of employment, thereby helping to eradicate gender based unequal pay which has been and still is prevalent.

GMB, the union which has over 100,000 members working in Britain’s schools and who are covered by the School Support Staff Negotiating Body (SSSNB) reacted with dismay over media reports of the Government’s proposed scrapping of the SSSNB.

In a letter to Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education, Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary for Public Services and a pivotal figure in the establishment of the SSSNB said,

“It is with dismay that I read in today’s Daily Telegraph that a leaked list of “quangos to be scrapped” includes the School Support Staff Negotiating Body.  I have no doubt that this information was deliberately provided to the Daily Telegraph as a softening up exercise and is therefore accurate.

The SSSNB was established by statute with all party support in 2009 to negotiate school support staff pay and conditions of employment, thereby helping to eradicate gender based unequal pay which has been and still is prevalent.

When you came into office you instructed your officials to put the work of the SSSNB on hold pending a review of its future role.  Since then members of the SSSNB have written to you and sought to meet with you and to discuss this.  You have not even had the courtesy to reply to requests let alone hold any discussions.

So without even listening to those involved the decision has been taken to scrap the SSSNB.  This shows a total disdain for school support staff who will be appalled and angry at the cavalier attitude exhibited towards them.

The good reasons for establishing the SSSNB to create a national framework for school support staff pay and conditions that combines consistency with local flexibility are as strong as ever.  It is a sad indictment indeed that the hopes for a fairer future for this low paid, largely female, workforce have been consigned to the scrap heap via a newspaper leak.”

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