GMB ACCUSE REDBRIDGE HEAD TEACHERS OF SEEKING TO SACK 15 SCHOOL SUPPORT STAFF AND REFUSING TO ALLOW GMB TO REPRESENT MEMBERS FACING THE SACK There are formal procedures in place and the Head Teachers have not followed these or given any consideration to the wellbeing of their support staff says GMB
GMB, the union for school support staff in Redbridge, has accused the senior Head Teachers at Woodlands School in Redbridge of planning to sack 15 school support staff without good reason and failing to follow the formal procedures. These 15 staff accounts for 75% of the 20 support staff in the school. GMB is also accusing the head teacher and the London Borough of Redbridge of refusing to facilitate GMB representation at formal meetings for the school support staff members who are facing the sack.
Mrs Joan McGrath was appointed as Executive Head Teacher in September and Mrs Yasmin Chaudhry is the Associate Head Teacher of the school which is currently in ‘special measures’. Mrs McGrath is also the Head Teacher of St Bede’s Catholic Primary School in Redbridge. These Head Teachers initially sought to reduce support staff hours by about 18 hours a week. A number of teachers have already left and have been replaced. GMB is concerned that they are trying to achieve the same outcome for school support staff. They are meeting strong resistance from GMB members at the school.
Associate Head Teacher Mrs Yasmin Chaudhry held ‘one to one’ meetings with school support staff but refused to allow a GMB representative to be present. She also gave out the letters of termination after staff refused to attend without their GMB representative being present. Joan McGrath held the group consultation meetings.
Sandra Vincent, GMB Organiser said, “Many of the support staff have received letters threatening them with the sack. Thus out of the blue, senior managers are trying to sack over 75% of loyal hard working support staff by letter. This is outrageous and will not go unchallenged by GMB. No good reason has been given to deprive hard working school support staff of their livelihoods. The ultimate employer in the school, the London Borough of Redbridge, has also refused release of an elected GMB Shop Steward to accompany GMB school support members at important meetings with the school management on these threatened sackings. There are formal procedures in place and the head teacher has not followed these or given any consideration to the wellbeing of her support staff. These Head Teachers would not expect to be treated like this. Neither should they treat their loyal, hardworking staff, who care for the children on a daily basis like.” Contact: Sandra Vincent, GMB Organiser on 07961 896567 or GMB Press Office: Rose Conroy on 07974 251823 or Steve Pryle on 07921 289880.
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