Blackpool LG UNISON wins fight for school support staff leave to be increased


Back in November 2023 UNISON Blackpool Local Government Branch sent a letter to all council schools within Blackpool with regards to holiday pay for employees on NJC terms and conditions.

The letter requested for schools to consider aligning their under 5 year holiday entitlement to that of their council colleagues, therefore increasing from 25 days to 26 days.

The background to this matter related to a possible decision taken by schools in 2004/5 when the single contract was introduced for council employees. As part of the negotiations for the new single contract, holiday entitlement was increased for under 5 years’ service and over 10 years’ service. Schools were possibly asked at the time whether they wished to adopt the enhanced holiday offer and a decision was possibly made not to adopt these changes (we do not actually know why the alignment did not take place).

Further to the initial letter being sent to the schools in November 2023, there were further discussions between the Council and UNISON regarding the over 10 years differential in holiday entitlement (28 days to 32 days) and for transparency the schools were made  aware of this additional differential. The schools were asked to consult with their governing bodies as to whether this increase could also be implemented.

We are happy to report that the majority of the council schools have agreed to the under 5 years uplift and the introduction of the over 10 years as a new element.

The only schools that have not agreed to implement the over 10 years are the Church of England Schools, they have adopted the under 5 years uplift but due to affordability at this time they have not been able to adopt the over 10 years holiday entitlement….hopefully in time they will align,

The changes are effective from 1st April 2024, and should be reflected in staff pay packets next week.

This is a fantastic win for all council school support staff and has been achieved by the hard work and dedication of the branch staff.

If you have colleagues who have received this uplift, who are not members of UNISON, please let them know that it is the hard work of UNISON officers, fighting on behalf of UNISON members, that have clinched this win.