A number of readers from North Lanarkshire have been in touch over planned cuts in education services which will apparently remove Classroom Assistants altogether from local secondary schools and reduce their numbers to just one post in the council's primary schools.
As a consequence, around 200 Classroom Assistant jobs are under immediate threat and presumably face being made redundant, if they cannot be found 'suitable alternative work' in the weeks ahead.
I'm told that 91 Early Years Worker posts are potentially available to the Classroom Assistants being displaced, but that still leaves an awful lot of people facing a very uncertain future, never mind the impact on children and young people in North Lanarkshire's schools.
Apparently a Redeployment Matrix has been agreed between management and the trade unions which will take the following criteria into account in deciding who still has a job after this game of 'musical chairs':
- Length of service
- Disciplinary Record
- Level of Sickness Absence
In any event the onus is on North Lanarkshire Council to observe a fair and transparent process from start to finish, and to do everything possible to find suitable alternative work for the 200 or so employees affected.
Otherwise individual employees could have a claim to the Employment Tribunals for unfair dismissal.
If you ask me, I would always hold proper interviews if there is more than one candidate interested in a vacant post, as I don't believe that relying on a person's 'length of service', 'disciplinary record' or 'sickness record' amounts to a fair or professional selection process.