More than 200 staff working for 16 faith schools in Brighton and Hove have been excluded from payouts made to their equivalents at non-faith schools.
Brighton and Hove City Council is working to redress an historical imbalance in the amount paid to unskilled workers, with staff able to claim compensation for being underpaid. Teaching assistants, school cleaners and office staff are eligible for payments.
The council has made single status payouts to hundreds of workers at non-faith schools but has declined to make similar offers to staff at Catholic and Church of England schools. Although funding for their posts comes from the council, they are technically employed by the governors of their schools. A council spokesman said: “We cannot make single status offers to staff at faith schools simply because they are not employed by the council. We are aware of all the potential issues surrounding this situation and we have taken them into account.”
Talks between union leaders and the council have broken down, and unions GMB and Unite will ballot for industrial action after the Easter holidays. The affected schools make up a quarter of Brighton and Hove’s schools. One of them, Cardinal Newman Catholic School, is the city’s largest secondary, accounting for 2,000 pupils.