Southend school staff fight off holiday pay cash grab

Southend school staff have fought off changes to holiday pay calculations that could have left them thousands of pounds a year worse off.

Around 350 staff in community schools would have seen their pay drop by between £40 and £2,800 each year after Southend Council proposed changes to the formula for calculating holiday pay for staff on term-time-only contracts.

UNISON campaign against the change, warning that it would take hundreds or even thousands of pounds away from low-paid predominantly female workers when they are already struggling massively with the rising cost of living.

As a result, Southend Council agreed to keep its current calculations in place, allowing staff to move over to the new formula if they want to do so.

UNISON Southend On Sea branch secretary Claire Wormald said: “This is fantastic news for some of the lowest-paid staff in our schools.

“These are experienced workers doing an essential job. It would have been a real kick in the teeth to take money away from them — especially in the midst of a cost of living crisis.

“We’re pleased that the council listened to its staff and scrapped its proposed changes to holiday pay.”