SOUTH Tyneside’s two Labour MPs have given their backing to school support staff in the borough involved in a long-running pay dispute.
Emma Lewell-Buck, for South Shields, and Jarrow’s Stephen Hepburn called in at the Unison trade union offices in Westoe Road, South Shields, yesterday to accept a petition opposing a pay offer to support staff and local government workers of one per cent.
Three hundred Unison members working in borough schools, including dinner ladies and teaching assistants, have already signed the document.
The effort has been supported locally by Unison school support staff officers Maureen Deans and Jane Parkes, who presented the petition to both MPs.
Mrs Lewell-Buck said: “I support this petition 100 per cent. People deserve a decent wage for the work that they do.
“They feel valued if they get paid a decent wage.
“Schools wouldn’t survive without workers like dinner ladies.
“Everyone who works in a school is important, but without support staff, the school wouldn’t function and pupils wouldn’t get a good rounded education.”
Mr Hepburn added: “This petition tells you everything you need to know about this Government, when it can afford to give massive tax cuts to the richest people in the country and expects low-paid dinnerladies to pay for it.
“We will continue to fight against these unfair policies in Parliament.”