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County Durham teaching assistants accept 'final offer'

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Teaching assistants in County Durham have accepted a “final offer” bringing a 20-month pay dispute to an end.Durham County Council bosses wanted to pay 2,000 support staff during term-time only.The union Unison said the original offer meant staff would lose 23% of their salary.Last month the offer was improved to offer a new grading system and Unison said its members had voted “overwhelmingly” to accept. The new offer also includes a two-year compensation deal and measures to improve career progression. A council spokesman said the new deal would help teaching assistants to develop their careers.’Stress and concern’Unison northern regional secretary Clare Williams welcomed the deal but said the row had caused a lot of “pain”. “The deal that they have voted to accept means the majority of teaching assistants will not be worried about pay cuts,” she added.”It also provides a clear way forward for all teaching assistants regardless of individual re-grading.”This dispute has lasted far too long, and caused too much pain, stress and concern for teaching assistants – and everyone who cares about local schools.”The county council said the new deal would be implemented by 1 January.
Source: BBC Tyne and Wear