Teachers’ union to take dispute over redundancies plan to Acas

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A TEACHING union is to take a jobs dispute with a Yorkshire council to the arbitration service Acas after accusing officials of refusing to hold talks.

Members of the Calderdale branch of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) have already staged a strike over planned redundancies at the council’s School Improvement Team.

The union objects to the authority’s plan to cut the number of jobs in the team from 21 to five.

There are currently two posts unfilled so the changes are set result in up to 14 job losses.

Earlier this month Calderdale NUT criticised the council which, it claimed, was refusing to hold talks with union officials.

Now it has contacted Acas to ask them to intervene.

Branch secretary Sue McMahon said: “It is absolutely appalling. I cannot believe we are having to go to such lengths to force the council to sit down around the table and talk to us.

“We have not spoken to council officials since March. I’m surprised that officers in the local authority think the dispute could be settled by putting our concerns in writing, as we have been doing this for several months.

“It is not councillors who are refusing to talk to us but the officials.”

The NUT criticised the authority after receiving a letter from Calderdale Council’s director of Children and Young People’s Service Stuart Smith which ruled out a meeting.

The NUT claims it said he believed it would be more “cost beneficial” to deal with the issue through correspondence.

Members of the Calderdale Council School Improvement Team, which is based at Halifax’s Heath Training Centre, took part in a one day strike last month over the dispute.

Calderdale Council did not respond to the Yorkshire Post’s request for a comment last night.