County Durham teaching assistants start second round of strike action in pay dispute with council

Teaching assistants on the picket line outside Timothy Hackworth Primary School in Shildon this morning. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Teaching assistants in County Durham have begun a second round of strike action, in a pay dispute with the council.

Unions claim more than 1,000 support staff are part of the 48-hour walkout, with over 100 schools fully or partially closed.

Durham County Council insists 91% of schools will remain open on Wednesday and Thursday.

Find out here if your school is affected by the strike action

Members of the UNISON and ATL unions mounted picket lines outside schools this morning, to protest against plans to cut their pay by up to 23%.

The council says it has to pay them for term-time only, to avoid equal pay claims from other staff.

The first 48-hour strike was held a fortnight ago.

Read More: County Durham TAs stage first strike in pay dispute

UNISON says support staff will work to rule from Friday until the end of term, not doing anything above their regular hours.

If the dispute is not resolved, the majority of the county's 2,600 teaching assistants are due to have their contracts terminated in January, and be re-employed on the new conditions.

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