Owen Temple & Margaret Nealis

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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

New comparison table about TA pay

by Owen Temple on 28 June, 2017

A week ago I complained about the way in which councillors were rail-roaded into making a decision to approve the new Teaching Assistant pay offer. One of the points I made was about the lack of time for councillors to raise questions and get answers. Despite that, with the teaching assistant workforce already undertaking its ballot, […]

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I won’t have won many friends at County Hall yesterday by arguing that the decision on the TA deal should be delayed whilst councillors looked at the small print, but I make no apology. The deal that is being offered is much better than the one that was to be imposed on TAs twelve months […]

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Discouraging signal from DCC Labour

by Owen Temple on 7 December, 2016

OK – DCC have suspended the dismissal notices and promised a review, but the tone at County Hall today suggested no change of heart towards Durham’s Teaching Assistants, just a change of tactic. The response to the question about whether ATL (100+ TA members) would be included in negotiations was a straight “NO”.  But Unite […]

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Nothing could be clearer to me. Today I met a Teaching Assistant who is the course leader and only teacher of a GCSE equivalent course in a County Durham Secondary School, a course which they themselves set up within the school. That’s teaching in anyone’s book. If anyone in the media wants to check this […]

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This morning’s TA debate

by Owen Temple on 14 September, 2016

This morning council debated its new proposal to extend the period of compensation for loss of earnings to two years instead of one, provided that teaching assistants vote to accept the revised contracts which will reduce their pay by between 10 and 25%. If the proposal had simply been to increase the compensation two two […]

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Special Council meeting about Teaching Assistants

by Owen Temple on 28 July, 2016

As the holiday season starts, councillors get an email out of the blue telling us that there is a Special Council Meeting on September 14th, the only subject matter being Teaching Assistants. I don’t know when we’ll hear any more, but I know which side I’m on:

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Yesterday’s speech at Council

by Owen Temple on 17 May, 2016

Six months ago Liberal Democrats called for this council to pause the process of slashing teaching assistants’ take home pay. We called for a thorough review of their position compared to others across the region. We wanted to examine the approaches taken by other councils and what room we had for manoeuvre. You, the party […]

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UNISON – Running with the Hare and with the Hounds

by Owen Temple on 30 November, 2015

Thanks, all of you who have written in. I’m now 100% convinced that at least one Unison meeting was told that head teachers are behind the move to slash teaching assistants’ pay. I don’t believe it. None of us knows the exact truth of what has happened, but I am sure of some things. I’m sure that the deal between the […]

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What have they got to hide?

by Owen Temple on 26 November, 2015

Today I asked, for the second time, if Councillor Alex Watson and I could see the report which was issued to the Corporate Management Team (the Directors at County Hall) prior to the proposal to change teaching assistants’ contracts being sent out. The response was that they are “confidential.” From this I learn two things; Papers exist setting out […]

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Durham’s Teaching Assistants hung out to dry

by Owen Temple on 16 November, 2015

As many of you know, I used to be a teacher. I collected the usual flak about the long holidays, but never found people queuing up to take my job, holidays or not. I put heart and soul into it until I couldn’t bear having government (national and local) as my employer any more. Perhaps […]

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