Union denies claims that only 38 staff walked out in Mowden Hall protest (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Union denies claims that only 38 staff walked out in Mowden Hall protest
A PUBLIC Sector Union has disputed claims that only a handful of workers joined a walkout at Mowden Hall yesterday (Thursday, March 7).
Responding to the strike action, a statement from the Department for Education said: “Our reports indicate that eight per cent of Mowden Hall staff participated in yesterday's PCS Union strike while the vast majority of staff are working hard to reform childcare and support schools in raising standards.
"We have held extensive discussions with the PCS and we are consulting with staff on the proposed changes. We have made it clear that we want to avoid compulsory redundancies wherever possible.”
Eight per cent of staff equates to just 38 people.
But Robbie Faulds, president of the education group in PCS, said: “That’s their line and they’re welcome to it, but I think the department is being very, very optimistic with those figures.
“They have no accurate system in place for measuring how many staff walked out, given that non-union members joined yesterday’s action too.
“PCS would also dispute that the department have had any meaningful discussions with us over changes and our legal advice would dispute that too. The Union believes they are also in a position to provide information on staff redundancies but they have refused to do so.”
Department for Education staff at Mowden Hall staged a two-hour walkout yesterday afternoon in protest at the way they are being treated by the Government.
Part of their concern is over job security as their office is due to close and could be moved to Newcastle, which would force many workers to quit and may cost Darlington’s economy £21m.
The Northern Echo has been campaigning to keep the job in Darlington since last year.