Councillors Richard Ormerod, David Freeman, Carole Lattin, Rob Hanson & Helen Weston

Liberal Democrat Councillors for Elvet, Crossgate, Highgate, Sidegate, St Nicholas and Gilesgate Bank Learn more

Lib Dem Statement on Durham County Council’s proposed approach to Teaching Assistants‏

by Elvet & Gilesgate Lib Dems on 6 September, 2016

Lib Dem councillors welcome any move on the part of the county council to pull back from its draconian proposal to dismiss all its teaching assistants and re-employ them on greatly worsened contracts.

Amanda Hopgood, the Group’s leader on the council, commented that after nine months of the council arguing that no alternative course of action was possible, at last there is now an admission that that was not true.

“They now recognise that there are alternatives,” she said.

“That must bring hope that real negotiation could lead to a genuine solution.”

Liberal Democrats, however, are not convinced that merely a temporary stay on the financial damage that will be caused to them will be enough either to meet the sense of grievance amongst teaching assistants, or to restore their goodwill which has been so dangerously undermined through this appallingly mishandled dispute.

“We’ll listen carefully to how the workforce respond,” said Councillor Temple, the group’s deputy leader.

“It’s time they were listened to. If the council had listened to them, their head-teachers  and their governors in the first place, we would never have found ourselves in this position.”

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