Union suspends JFS strike action ballot after talks
JFS Job CutsBallot for strike action suspended after school's concessions

Union suspends JFS strike action ballot after talks

The National Union of Teachers shelve plans to ballot members on industrial action on Friday after 'positive' discussions

A JFS class taking place
A JFS class taking place

Teachers’ unions have said they will suspend a ballot for industrial action at JFS planned for Friday, after progress was made in talks over redundancies announced earlier this month.

The Kenton institution, which is Europe’s biggest Jewish school, announced plans to cut up to 15 staff members – including teachers – as a result of budgetary pressures, prompting suggestions of strikes from the National Union of Teachers (NUT).

However, meetings this week were described as “positive and productive” by union chiefs, who said: “Members of the NUT and other education unions agreed to suspend a ballot for strike action at the school.”

The ballot had been against the threat of compulsory redundancies and a resultant increase in workload, they said, but concerns were eased after JFS management agreed to a number of measures following a Wednesday meeting.

School bosses have now said there will be no compulsory redundancies, that staff re-deployed to other posts will suffer no financial detriment, and that remaining staff will not be expected to shoulder an increased workload.

In addition, all parties recognised that the restructuring had increased stress levels, so measures will be put in place to alleviate that stress.

An NUT spokesperson said: “Whilst there are still some outstanding concerns which need to be resolved, we are hopeful that this can be done through negotiation.”

Earlier this month, headteacher Deborah Lipkin said cuts needed to be made because the school would be hard hit by the Government’s forthcoming National Schools Funding Formula, which reallocates money to needy children. JFS has the lowest percentage of needy children in Brent.

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