Strike threat at special needs schools

By Phil Turner | 18/10/2010 0 comments

Strike threat at special needs schools

STAFF at a special needs schools organisation are to be balloted for industrial action over a wave of cuts in pay and conditions.

Public sector union UNISON says it will ballot its 450 members at the Hesley Group of Schools, based at Hesley Hall, near Tickhill, to protest at plans to change terms and conditions for its 1,200 staff.

Hesley provides residential care and education for children and adults with severe autism at Low Laithes in Wombwell, Community Solutions in Thorne, Fullerton House School in Denaby and Wilsic Hall School in Wadworth.

UNISON regional organiser Robin Symonds said: "The Hesley Group is blaming the cuts on local authorities who want to reduce their fees because of the government’s public spending cuts. 

“They say that cuts to terms and conditions are necessary in order to save £1 million and avoid 60 redundancies yet we understand that the Hesley Group made almost £2 million profit last year.”

The Hesley Group said it is having to propose efficiencies as an alternative to job losses and that the figure of a £2 million profit last year was a “gross exaggeration.”

The company is proposing a range of changes which, if agreed, will see some reduction in terms and conditions.

The efficiencies had been made necessary because of funding cuts to local authority budgets, the firm said.



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