Workers at 35 Birmingham schools set to strike over council's equal pay scandal

Strike dates will be announced in the coming weeks, involving teaching assistants, catering and ground workers in Birmingham. Credit: PA Images

Teaching assistants and other workers at dozens of schools in Birmingham have voted to strike in a dispute over pay.

Members of the GMB union at 35 schools in the city backed industrial action after accusing the city council of delaying the settlement of equal pay claims.

Strike dates will be announced in the coming weeks, involving teaching assistants, catering and ground workers.

It comes after Birmingham City Council bosses admitted last year it faced liability on equal pay, estimated up to £760million - after years of female dominated jobs being paid less than male ones.

The council declared itself effectively bankrupt in September last year and in March approved plans to increase council tax by 21%, make £300m in cuts and scale back public services.

The GMB union says no female workers have yet received any money owed to them.

Full list of schools set to walk out:

  • Colmore Junior School

  • Minworth Junior & Infant School

  • Colmore Infant & Nursery School

  • Chad Vale Primary School

  • Bordesley Green East Nursery School

  • Hodge Hill Girls School

  • Newtown Nursery School

  • Nelson Mandela School

  • Jakeman Nursery School

  • Arden Primary School

  • St Benedict's Infants

  • Yardley Primary School

  • Marsh Hill Nursery

  • Forestdale Primary School

  • Kings Heath Primary School

  • Lozells Junior & Infant School

  • James Watt Primary

  • Clifton Primary School

  • Worlds End Junior School

  • Cherry Orchard Primary School

  • Bordesley Green Primary School

  • Benson Community School

  • Wheelers Lane Primary

  • Stanville Primary School

  • Beeches Junior School

  • St James CE Primary School Handsworth

  • Redhill Primary School

  • Elms Farm Primary School

  • Harborne Primary School

  • Gunter Primary School

  • George Dixon Primary School

  • Boldmere Infants & Nursery School

  • Yorkmead Junior & Infants School

  • Chilcote Primary School

  • Yardley Wood Community Primary School

Alice Reynolds, GMB Organiser, said: “Almost a year since council bosses admitted an equal pay bill as high as £760 million, not one single woman worker has received the money they’re owed.

“Birmingham City Council owe GMB members money after years of stolen wages, the equal pay crisis only ends when our members claims are settled.

“This is no longer about sending messages; workers are now taking matters into their own hands.

“Birmingham’s schools cannot run without our members and this strike action will have a huge impact.

“Council bosses are fast running out of time to fix this.”

Birmingham City Council bosses admitted last year it faced potential liability on equal pay, up to £760million. Credit: ITV News Central

A spokesperson from Birmingham City Council said:

“The council has been engaging with GMB on matters of equal pay since November 2021, and following the further agreement made with the Trades Unions in October 2023, has begun work on a new approach to job evaluation to settle Birmingham’s equal pay issues once and for all.

"The council would encourage GMB to explore solutions working together, as it remains committed to resolving historic equal pay issues, and settling all legitimate claims from our employees.”

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