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Staff go on strike at Harold Hill school in dispute over pay

A demonstration was held outside the school yesterday morning (Credit: NEU)

Support staff at a school in Harold Hill have gone on strike for a seventh time due to an ongoing dispute over pay. 

The National Education Union (NEU) says their members are facing cuts to their pay grades and work hours, which it warns will have a negative impact on teaching and learning at the site.

Staff first went on strike on Tuesday, 17 May after they learned that the school was being restructured. They held protests outside the school this morning and yesterday.

Draper’s Multi Academy Trust (MAT), which runs the site, says it is committed to resolving the issue but argues strike action should only be carried out after all of the negotiations have finished.

Workers are fighting against pay cuts (Credit: NEU)

The NEU district secretary for Havering, John Delaney, said: “There has been a shocking absence of movement from the management of the Drapers MAT, who lack either the will or the expertise to find a solution.

“The twelve highest earners across all three primaries and one secondary school earn one million pounds maximum (eight hundred thousand pounds minimum) and it is this leadership who cannot find the twelve thousand pounds to settle the dispute.

“The support staff are the lowest paid workers in schools and it is socially irresponsible to ask them to pay the price of falling pupil numbers.”

The CEO of the Drapers’ MAT, Bushra Nasir, has warned that the strike action will jeopardise student’s chances of finding a job in the future and their mental health. 

He said: “This small core of union leaders are calling strikes to cause maximum disruption to our children and their families, it is unacceptable.

“The MAT feels we have done everything we possibly can to resolve this dispute and we were very much hoping that strike action would be called off to allow the school to move forward.

“The NEU, and some of their members, seem to be entrenched on such strike action and have offered little in terms of compromise.”

Eight more days of strike action are currently planned for July as negotiations continue. 

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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