When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Angry Blackburn teacher says staff seriously misled over redundancies
6:30pm Saturday 16th June 2012 in Hyndburn
AN angry Blackburn teacher has told councillors and senior officers that he and fellow staff were “seriously misled” over job losses.
Peter Rush told Blackburn-with-Darwen Council’s Cabinet that the impact on classroom workers of a major school building programme was covered-up until it was too late to stop compulsory job losses.
The 59-year-old NAS/UWT union representative tackled the local authority’s top brass on the issue when they discussed a petition signed by more than 80 teachers, teaching assistants and school support staff.
He told Council Leader Kate Hollern, chief executive Graham Burgess, children’s services boss Maureen Bateson and the rest of the authority’s executive board that when unions and staff wanted to discuss the job impact of the borough’s Building Schools for the Future programme and associated school closures/mergers, they were repeatedly told by officers there would be no redundancies only redeployment.
And he said a report in response to the petition being endorsed by the senior councillors continued that cover-up.
Mr Rush, a teacher at Crosshill School, said: “We were misled by officers and the council. We were repeatedly told that there would be no redundancies and this was a redeployment situation. When we tried to discuss redundancies we were told we could not discuss a hypothetical situation. We were seriously misled.”
But Coun Hollern and Mr Burgess pointed to a joint statement by the council and unions in April 2008 which said: “It is agreed that the closure of these schools is a potential redundancy situation and as such will be handled with the appropriate procedures.”
Mr Rush, who is facing compulsory redundancy himself, said no-one on the union side remembered either the alleged meeting or the statement referred to in the council report.
Coun Hollern said the statement was there in black and white, adding: “We were never able to guarantee that all people would get a job.”
Coun Bateson told him: “Originally there were 202 staff affected by possible redundancy. Now there are 63 staff who still face possible compulsory redundancy. That means 75 per cent of the staff affected have been found jobs, taken voluntary redundancy or retired.”
Comments are closed on this article.