Unions representing school support staff are demanding a 12.7% pay rise from April and better recognition of SEND expertise in the formal pay and conditions of teaching assistants.

The GMB, Unite, and UNISON – which represent 1.4 million school and council employees in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland – have formally submitted the pay claim to the local government pay negotiating body, the National Joint Council (NJC).

The unions are claiming 12.7% as this equates to the RPI rate of inflation of 10.7% (as forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility) plus 2%.

The claim also asks employers to “consider the introduction of a minimum pay rate of £15 per hour over the next two years”.

Last term, the unions agreed a deal with employers that saw staff paid an extra £1,925 this financial year – backdated to April 2022.

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