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Walthamstow primary school staff striking after ‘not being paid properly’ and ‘workplace bullying’

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Teachers at an East London primary school are striking for a third day for better pay and working conditions. Today (Wednesday, March 30) teachers and support staff at Walthamstow Primary Academy claim they are facing poor working conditions, workload issues and allegations of bullying culture from the management team. The group began their strike last Thursday (March 24) before continuing for the past two days.

More than 500 people have signed a petition demanding that Walthamstow Primary staff are paid the correct pay band, are paid Teaching and Learning Responsibility Payments (TLRs) when given additional leadership and management responsibilities, have their workload reduced to appropriate levels, and that claims of bullying and unequal treatment of staff by senior leaders is resolved immediately.

It was reported earlier this week that management tries to “demean and intimidate staff on a regular basis”, and a permanent teacher had allegedly been denied maternity pay. A temporary staff member who worked for two years was reportedly laid off without proper notice.

READ MORE: Teachers at Croydon and Sutton schools strike over pension changes

Teachers and other staff workers at Walthamstow Primary Academy began their strike last week

The academy is run by United Learning, a group of schools found across the UK. A union official told MyLondon that United Learning, who are the teachers’ employers, have agreed to conduct an investigation into the allegations of bullying – though it won’t be carried out by an independent consultant as requested by the strikers. Instead, regional managers will take on the investigation.

United Learning has also agreed to host a regular meeting with the union which will look into workload issues however they have reportedly refused to budge on pay issues. The union member told MyLondon that teachers and support staff plan to strike after the Easter Holidays if the pay issue is still not addressed.

He said: “The parents have been really supportive, over 500 have signed the petition and several hundred have written letters to the school and the trust. Parents have been visiting the picket lines and given their support to strikers. Parents are shocked to hear staff are being treated the way they are.”

Teachers and support staff blew bubbles on the picket line

Teachers and support staff blew bubbles on the picket line

The union official added: “Staff have reached the point where enough is enough and they are taking a stand.” The issues at the school have been happening for some time but have not been dealt with properly, according to the official.

Five more days of striking have been planned after the Easter Holidays, beginning on April 20. “If matters get resolved before April 24 then fine, but if not (it will be) another day of strike action,” the union official added.

A spokesperson for the school said: “We remain in discussions with the National Education Union at a regional and national level regarding pay, following three days’ strike action by members at Walthamstow Primary Academy.

“We are working hard to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and minimise disruption to pupils’ education in the meantime. School has remained fully open this week and children have attended as normal.

“Staff welfare and wellbeing is a key priority and we have maintained an open dialogue with teachers and support staff at all times. Wherever any concerns do arise, we will always deal with them promptly and appropriately in line with our policies.”

Are you a Londoner with an important story to share? Get in touch with Ruby by writing to her at [email protected]

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https://www.mylondon.news/news/east-london-news/walthamstow-primary-school-staff-striking-23543192