TEACHING assistants and play workers at a Wirral primary school have voted to strike over plans to cut hours and pay.

Twenty-one workers at Woodchurch Primary School will walk out on Thursday December 3 over a proposal to cut their hours and pay by up to 20%.

The school support staff - who stand to lose out as much as £3,885 in pay every year - voted 100% in favour of the strike.

The council has said the school will remain open their education will not be disrupted.

The teaching assistants and play workers - who had previously received the backing of Birkenhead MP Mick Whitley - are supported by parents of schoolchildren and the local community.

The school staff held an online meeting which has now been watched by almost 2000 people.

The school staff's trade union UNISON says that the meeting showed the "overwhelming support" for the Woodchurch workers and the opposition to the proposed cuts.

Speaking at the meeting, parent Amina Hussein said: "I have two children who attend the school.

"The staff are fabulous but they cannot provide the same support in less time.

"I say to Wirral Council: stop these cuts and give my children the support that they deserve."

Following the meeting, Wirral UNISON have launched a petition to oppose the cuts which can be accessed here.

Wirral UNISON branch secretary David Jones said: "A 100% vote in favour of strike action shows the strength of feeling amongst our members.

"The fantastic turnout for our meeting shows that the parents and the community are outraged about these pay cuts and the potential impact upon their children’s education.

"We urge the Council to enter into meaningful dialogue with us to stop these cuts."

The ballot for strike action was announced last month.

Cllr Wendy Clement, chair of the children, young people and education committee, said: "We have been informed by UNISON that following a ballot for industrial strike action at Woodchurch Road Primary, the decision has been taken for this to go ahead.

"We would like to reassure parents and carers of pupils that the school will remain open and their education will not be disrupted.

"The proposals do not mean a reduction in classroom time; Teaching Assistants will be in classes when the children are in school and Little Buddies when the children are in the Breakfast and After School Club.

"The council has worked closely with the school on the best resolution for the financial difficulties they are facing, whilst still retaining staff.

"Our priority continues to be ensuring pupils receive the best education that goes uninterrupted, alongside supporting staff at the school.

"We have committed to do everything possible to support and will continue to work together with school leadership, governors and unions to ensure the school remains viable and can continue to support the education and wellbeing of pupils."

But Oxton lib Dem councillor Stuart Kelly says he is not convinced the schools financial problems are the fault of the school governors.

He said: "I have information which suggests it is Wirral Council’s lack of financial over sight that has led to these difficulties for the governors.

"I have asked for this to be investigated and if the council is responsible for this debt piling up to unsustainable levels it must help resolve the current problems and put the school back on a firm financial footing, it would be the right thing to do in the circumstances."