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Council's pay offer for teaching assistants rejected

Unison has announced its teaching assistant members in County Durham have 'overwhelmingly rejected' Durham County Council's revised offer in a long running dispute over pay cuts. They have been protesting over plans to pay teaching assistants for term-time only. Unison represents the majority of the 2700 teaching assistants involved.

Teaching assistants have been protesting outside County Hall in Durham Credit: ITV

The revised offer suggested to teaching assistants was two years of compensation as opposed to one. Unison has said that a ballot will now be held over potential strike action.

“Teaching assistants are angry at the way the council has behaved, threatening to sack them if they don’t sign new contracts.

“These are dedicated and committed individuals who are already on low wages. Many can barely make ends meet as it is.

“Striking is a last resort but these low-paid employees feel they have no choice but to consider taking action. Teaching assistants make a real difference in the classroom — teachers couldn’t teach without them and parents value them. It’s a pity the county council appears not to recognise their worth too.

“UNISON is fully behind the teaching assistants, whatever course of action they choose to take.”

– UNISON northern regional secretary Clare Williams

The GMB Union represents around 500 teaching assistants. Their members have voted to accept the revised offer by 53.5% to 46.5% on a turnout of around 74%. The union says they will not ballot over strike action but look to have discussions with Unison and Durham County Council over how to proceed.

Weather: Wind warning tomorrow

Low pressure Credit: Met Office

A large area of low pressure will pass to the north of Scotland during Thursday morning, bringing a brief spell of very strong winds for northern parts of the UK, before the winds ease down from the northwest by the early afternoon.

Weather warning Credit: Met Office

Gales and locally severe gales are expected to develop across much of Scotland and the far north of England for a time.

Gusts of 50-60 mph are likely in many areas,

Please be aware that potential impacts could include minor travel disruption with some bridge restrictions, and possible damage to trees and structures.


Warning to be vigilant after Whitley Bay theft

Police are advising shoppers to take extra care of their valuables after a wallet was stolen in a North Tyneside supermarket.

The theft happened at the Morrisons store on Hillheads Road in Whitley Bay on September 24.

An 82-year-old woman had left her bag on the shopping trolley while in the store. A thief stole her wallet containing bank cards and used them to steal cash from her bank account.

Officers are making enquiries at the store and are checking CCTV.

"We want to remind shoppers, both in town centres and supermarkets, to make sure they keep a close eye on their wallets and purses at all times

"Valuables should be kept in zipped compartments and it's vital that nothing is left unattended in trolleys or out of sight. Unfortunately opportunist thieves do operate and by taking crime prevention steps people can reduce their risk of falling victim to such a crime.

"If anyone sees suspicious behaviour in a shop or witnesses a theft taking place, they should contact police straight away."

– Detective Inspector Steve Appleton

Anyone with information should call police on 101.

Dementia drop-in sessions in Durham

Durham County Council has announced a series of drop-in advice sessions for people living with dementia or people caring for someone with the condition.

The drop-ins, at Durham County Council libraries, are free, confidential and open to anyone worried about their memory or affected by dementia in any way.

An adviser from the Alzheimer’s Society will be on hand to offer information on issues ranging from healthcare to legal and financial affairs.

Drop-ins take place between 10am and noon on the following days:

  • Peterlee Library – the first Monday of every month
  • Blackhall Library – the second Friday of every month
  • Seaham Library – the third Wednesday of every month
  • Consett Library – Friday, 7 October
  1. National

Allardyce: Entrapment has cost me England job

Sam Allardyce says "entrapment has won" after he lost his job following a newspaper investigation.

The Football Association terminated his contract on Tuesday after revelations made in The Telegraph.

Speaking outside his home the day after he left the England manager's job, the former Bolton boss explained he was off on holiday to reflect on what had happened.

On reflection, it was a silly thing to do; I helped out someone I had known for 30 years and unfortunately it was an error in judgement on my behalf.

I've suffered the consequences. Entrapment has won on this occasion.

The agreement [to terminate his contract] with the FA was all done very amicably.

I have a confidential agreement so I can't say too much more.

I'm going to go away and reflect on it. I am off abroad to chill out and reflect on it.

– Sam Allardyce
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