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Thursday 3 November 2011

Not allowed to strike?

From Concerned union member:

Support staff in our ‘academy’ school are being told they are not allowed to take part in the planned UNISON strike on 30 November as it is in breach of their contract.  Is this really true?

6 answers – add yours below

  1. Dave Mingay said:

    That is nonsense and scaremongering by the academy. They If they have been balloted then UNISON would have got legal advice to say they can strike. If the academy opted out of the LGPS and created their own pensions scheme then they would be ineligible. The dispute is with the Government not the school as the proposals come from the Government. The only factual statement is that it is a breach of contract but they are covered by law by the strike ballot and will loose a days pay. It is illegal to take disciplinary acion against a Union member for taking part in legitimate strike action. They should contact their Regional Office or Branch secretary immediately and get this nipped in the bud.

    3 November 2011 at 10:47am
  2. Jane Butler said:

    I’m a member of support staff, been doing same job at same school for 7 years.School changed to academy this Sept. I had a letter from Unison saying due to my change of employment I couldn’t strike as would be illegal. I came online to look for reasons why and can only assume its due to the pension arrangements changing slightly in my school. I received my letter a few days before the result of the ballot. Hope this helps

    12 November 2011 at 10:34am
  3. Jane said:

    It may depend on the status of the academy. When teachers in schools in London were balloted, teachers in one academy were not allowed to ballot because their employer was ULT and it was deemed that all the union members in all the ULT academies would need to be balloted. I’m not sure of more details, but it may depend on who your employer is and whether there has been a ballot of all the employees of that employer.

    12 November 2011 at 12:17pm
  4. Kc said:

    We changed to Academy on 1st september. we recieved ballot papers and then a letter say ing that we could not take part in the ballot or industrial action on the 30th november as our employer (the new Academy) had not been given statutory notice that the ballot was to take place.

    This was because the academy(company) did not exist when the notices were made.

    timing problem realy so should not happen again for future ballots

    22 November 2011 at 9:18am
  5. Jane Butler said:

    Thanks for the above. We changed to Academy on 1 September too, so that sound right. The other unions are striking at my school so is that because they balloted their members later?

    22 November 2011 at 6:38pm
  6. David said:

    This sounds as if the unions slipped up when doing the ballot – the current law puts all sorts of hoops in the way of taking industrial action. I believe that if the unions had given due notice to the predecessor body and said that they wanted this to be carried across when the academy was set up, then the TUPE arrangements should have covered this.

    In any case, the right to take strike action is a fundamental freedom – so it’s worth seeing with any possible academy whether the academy proposes to support their employees’ right to strike.

    Similarly whether they will guarantee union recognition. The headteachers’ union ASCL has produced what looks like a useful form of words guaranteeing union recognition – I’d recommend seeing whether a proposed academy was willing to sign up to this.

    23 November 2011 at 10:44pm

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