Thursday, February 10, 2011

Classroom assistants: "The firing squad has been told to go away for a coffee"

Sandy fills up the glass before getting down to business. The mannie to the right of him Mr Alistair Dodds, chief executive, apologised publicly for the way the classroom assistants heard of their proposed sackings.

Protestors filled the concourse outside the Council headquarters and an equal number were on the lawn opposite the entrance too.

There will be many that agree with the comment in the title of this post, it came today from Cllr John Finnie, leader of the opposition on Highland Council. Have the administration just created a device to get everyone past the May Holyrood elections or will the promised review save any jobs? An amendment from the SNP to keep the levels of Classroom Assistants at current levels and to fund this with projected savings from implementation of the ongoing £70million IT contract was defeated by the LibDems/Labour/Independent ruling group.

The Plockton National Centre for Excellence in Traditional Music was left in limbo too as lots of nice words were said but it still remains in the cuts package even if there is the will within the administration to look for ways to save it. Brinkmanship looking for funding from the Scottish Parliament might be one strategy but it's also a form or Russian Roulette that could backfire on the Highlands.