Durham Miners Gala remembers Davey Hopper as TAs vow to fight on

Over a quarter of a million people attended a very moving and emotional 133rd Big Meeting in Durham to remember Davey Hopper, who died a week after last year’s Gala. Davey was the General Secretary of the Durham Miners Association for 30 years, and was the driving force behind the ongoing success of the Gala. On the march were British Airways mixed fleet cabin crew, in the middle of a 16 day strike for a living wage – and the biggest cheers were for the Durham Teaching Assistants, who explained why they are rejecting a terrible deal “negotiated” by UNISON which would leave nearly a quarter of them losing up to £4,000 immediately, and everyone else worse off eventually. UNISON should hang their heads in shame at trying to sell the Durham Lions out like this – now it’s down to all of us to give them the support they need to get a proper settlement.

Derby TAs go on all out strike over 25% pay cut

Teaching assistants in Derby have taken the very brave step of going on all out strike to try and get the Labour council to talk to them and come up with a sensible offer to end this dispute. Last Wednesday, leader of the council Ranjit Banwait walked out of a full council meeting rather than face angry parents and TAs – and the following day walked out early from an ACAS meeting with UNISON, to do prearranged media interviews condemning the negotiations! TAs are calling on teachers and heads to help them close the schools to sort out the mess Derby City Council have made as quickly as possible.