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Classroom Assistant struggle continues

category fermanagh | worker & community struggles and protests | press release author Tuesday December 11, 2007 07:39author by . Report this post to the editors

Call for ICTU inquiry

In the latest round in the struggle over Classroom Assistant job evaluation in Northern Ireland NIPSA has called for ICTU to carry out an inquiry in to the process that led to an offer from management been accepted by the trade unions.

Initially the call was made by NIPSA education branches but has now been endorsed by NIPSA General Council. The move by the NIPSA General Council gives the inquiry the authority of the biggest union in Northern Ireland

PDF Document NIPSA Press Release 0.05 Mb

author by solidarity (in vain) seekerpublication date Tue Dec 11, 2007 09:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I see that UNISON have started the re-writing of history, with McKeown's statement yesterday. About the only thing you couldn't argue with is the title "A sad day for the Trade Union movement". The rest would be laughable if it wasn't so serious for all workers in N Ireland. McKeown's comment about scrapping in the gutter shown what a brass neck that woman has. She should know that if people like her take trade union values into the gutter that's the only place that real trade unionists can fight them !!

author by Sallypublication date Tue Dec 11, 2007 09:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am a classroom worker and want to make it clear that I have no argument with members of UNISON, they are workers no different than myself. I must however take issue with the statement put out by their "Leader" in which she makes some very serious and incorrect accusations. Firstly the level of consultation and information given by NIPSA to its members was first class. She seems to think (Maybe its because its how she would opperate) that NIPSA didn't report to its members the differing legal advice over the 32.5 or 36 hour divisor. I can state that NIPSA clearly did. However NIPSA classroom assistants made a democratic decision that the 32.5 hour divisor was worth fighting for (In the courts if neccessary) not just sell it out for a few pounds. She also talks about UNISON trying to do its best to stand should to shoulder with its sister union. I can only assume they wanted to stand close enough to make it easier to stab their "Sister" in the back. She also makes the ridiculous claim that a handfull of politcically motivated activists have control of the decision making process. Well I must burst her deluded bubble again, every decision ahs been and will continue to be made by the workers themselves. Again it seems that she is confused by the way she runs her union with a small group making all the decisions and then working out a way to fix it with their members to give the illusion of democracy.

author by middletownpublication date Tue Dec 11, 2007 18:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sluggerotoole has an interesting blog on this debate

Related Link:
author by rogercpublication date Tue Dec 11, 2007 23:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wouldn't call it interesting, seems to be a lot of folk talking about a topic they know nothing about. I'm not sure why they would waste their time doing this, nothing worth reading.

author by solidarity seekerpublication date Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Have read with some amusement, though ultimately concern, P McKeown's classroom assistant statement. I can't help but laugh when pompous trade union leaders try to re-write history, taking credit for everything assuming that the "plebs" will be taken in and go away thinking how great they are. However on examination of her glorification of all things UNISON there is plenty for wokers to worry about.
I'm not going to run over all the ins and outs of the last couple of months, but a couple of things have to be clarified. P McKeown claims the credit for an extra £15 million being put on the table, credit allready and equally laughably claimed by the GMB, so they can fight that one out between them. One question however, do they really think that money would of been made available if 3000+ NIPSA classroom assistants hadn't started industrial action? Let me think, strike Wednesday, offer made Friday, bit of a coincidence there don't you think. Secondly she makes a great deal about the "New" protection arrangements in the new deal, these arrangements were exactly the same as the original deal. However that is easy to explain, UNISON ACCEPTED the original deal in June so obviously they thought the arrangements were ok. Thirdly her statement makes a very interesting "Back track" on a very important point. The UNISON website had claimed that after their vote "Now the majority of classroom assistants have voted in favour of the deal". This statement now more correctly claims "The majority of OUR members have voted in favour of the deal" a small but very important point. (Well done Patricia for getting that right)
However the worrying thing is UNISON's admission that the review of the education sector was their idea. So now UNISON are claiming to represent ALL education workers not just the majority of classroom assistants. With UNISON so obviously in a cosy arrangement with the powers that be, can anyone have any confidence that what comes out of this review won't be another sell out like they have sold out the terms and conditions of their classroom assistants. They make scornfull remarks that if NIPSA's claim was implemented it would double the education budget, am I missing something can anyone explain why a "Trade Union" would think that was a bad thing, and not something worth at least fighting for.

author by Josephinepublication date Sat Dec 15, 2007 13:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wouldn't pretend to know the rights and wrongs of this dispute and I don't think many people do but the abiding memory that will be left now is that of unions screaming abuse at each other and trying to destroy each other.Sickening to behold and very,very stupid. I have seen badly behaved children with more wit and self awareness.

author by Trev - Nipsapublication date Sun Dec 16, 2007 21:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I totally agree, why are certain branches behaving this way, it is taking the limelight off those who are to blame for this dispute, the employers, they want nothing more than to see unions fight. I also hope that classroom assistants wont let themselves be used in certain political ways as this will only discredit their dispute and they will never win.

author by . - NIPSApublication date Sun Jan 06, 2008 15:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Trev your comment seems to be an attempt to cause division. Is it possible that you are a UNISON or ATL official?

Btw as far as I am aware ALL decisions taken in this dispute have been taken by the Five Board Strike Committee so what branches are you refering to?

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