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  1. ITV Report

County Durham Teaching Assistants hold week long vigil outside County Hall

Teaching Assistants Vicki Yarrow and Tina Patterson started off the week-long vigil outside County Hall on Monday morning Photo: County Durham Teaching Assistants

Teaching Assistants from County Durham began a week long vigil outside County Hall on Monday morning to protest against the Council’s plans to cut their pay.

The vigil will see Teaching Assistants passing their banner on in hourly intervals throughout the day from Monday to Thursday.

Teaching Assistants will then gather together for a peaceful demonstration outside County Hall on Friday morning.

The Teaching Assistants are fighting plans by Durham County Council to cut their pay by up to £5000 a year. In December, after 4 days of strike action, the Council suspended plans to sack Teaching Assistants on New Years’ Eve and rehire them on less pay for the same job and are now in negotiations with unions to review the roles and responsibilities of TAs.

Negotiations are currently underway between the Council and unions but we wanted to remind them that we are real people facing real life-changing pay cuts. Who could afford to carry on doing the same job for £4000 less a year? I love my job but I can’t afford to do that."

– Vicki Yarrow, Teaching Assistant

Durham County Council says it will be carrying out a review of the teaching assistants role to establish whether current job descriptions adequately describe the role.