Staff facing redundancies at Valleys comprehensive
1:47pm Tuesday 8th October 2013 in News
UP TO 25 employees at a Valleys school could see their wages slashed or their jobs made redundant as part of efforts by school governors to save £300,000.
Teaching assistants, dinner supervisors, school technicians and at least one member of the office staff at Abertillery Comprehensive School are affected by the proposals, the teaching union Unison has confirmed.
David Rees, chairman of the Blaenau Gwent branch of Unison, told the Argus the school has to make £300,000-worth of savings in order to plug its deficit, but said it was Unison’s aim to help find staff find alternative work should they reject the pay cuts. A formal consultation booklet with new job descriptions is being issued to staff this week.
A Blaenau Gwent council spokeswoman said: “Abertillery Comprehensive School is currently going through a consultation process and is working closely with trade unions and staff to resolve the matter amicably.”
Under the proposals currently being discussed with staff at the school, 20 teaching assistant posts will be cut down to 17 and of those 17 staff, nine will stay on the level three pay scale and eight could go down to level two by reducing their job responsibilities.
But those staff could reject the pay cut and opt for redundancy instead, said Mr Rees.
He said two dinner supervisors and one office admin assistant, who is also a dinner supervisor, face compulsory redundancy, while three school technician posts would be reduced to two part-time and one full-time posts.
“We are trying to make sure there are opportunities if there are people ring-fenced for redundancy that they are moved elsewhere,” said Mr Rees. The Argus reported earlier this year how the school had to draw up an action plan after it was placed in Estyn’s ‘significant improvement’ category, one above special measures.
In 2012, the pass rate for GCSE grades A* to C at Abertillery Comprehensive was 39 per cent, down from 49 per cent the year before.
Head teacher Paul Stock said at the time that the inspectors reflected the optimism in the school, which merged with Nantyglo Comprehensive in August 2010 when 150 pupils joined Abertillery.
The Argus has contacted the school on several occasions for a comment.
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