UNISON Regional Head of Local Government Andy Belfield, said
“We’re not only sad and disappointed by Cllr Banwait’s decision to leave early to take part in prearranged media interviews condemning the negotiations. Frankly we find the behaviour of the Derby City Council Leader to be verging on the bizarre. To claim a prior, pressing commitment elsewhere, only to quickly appear in the media undermining the very negotiations he was too busy to take part in, is disingenuous at best, and hugely damaging to the prospects of finding a resolution to this dispute.
School support staff have now taken over 60 days of industrial action, resulting in significant disruption across the City of Derby. Cllr Banwait’s failure to prioritise talks, actively dismiss the goodwill of UNISON members in entering into talks with ACAS, and actively undermine those talks, is hugely disappointing. I have no doubt that the people and communities of Derby will be just as saddened as we are by his behaviour.”
Despite his behaviour UNISON is still in these talks. I think that parents in Derby would prefer him to join us. Their children deserve better.
The school staff dispute is now into its ninth month, after more than 2700 staff had their terms and conditions changed by Derby City Council in June 2016. Those staff have lost up to 25% of their pay, with many losing more than £5000 p/a.
UNISON understands the Cllr Banwait arranged his media appearance with ITV yesterday evening, in advance of the ACAS mediated meeting.
Regional Organiser UNISON