Pay in Northern Ireland
Links below lead to the appropriate section of the page
- Pay Update - September 2012
- NASUWT and the battle for pay parity
- Teachers' Salaries and Conditions of Service Committee (Schools)
- NASUWT Industrial Action
- Pay Scales
- Threshold and Upper Pay Spine Progression
- Performance Management
- Family Friendly Rights
- Temporary Workers and Substitute Teachers
A two-year pay freeze has been imposed for 2011 and 2012, except for those earning £21,000 or less, who will receive an increase of at least £250 a year. Teachers' salary scales therefore remain the same as they were in 2010.
Relentless pressure by the NASUWT secured a 2.45% pay increase for all teachers in Northern Ireland from October 2008 backdated to 1 September 2008. A 2.3% increase in teachers' salaries took effect from 1 September 2009 and a further 2.3% increase took effect from 1 September 2010. The imposed two-year pay freeze for 2011 and 2012 means that at a time of rising cost of living, the value of teachersʼ pay is being cut. The gains and improvements in teachersʼ pay made over the last decade are now being eroded.
The Teachers' Salaries and Conditions of Service Committee (Schools) was established to reach agreement on teachers' pay and conditions of service of teachers in grant aided schools in Northern Ireland.
On 27 November 2007 the NASUWT submitted directly to the Education Minister a claim for substantial improvements in pay and conditions of service to secure parity with teachers in England and Wales. Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“The NASUWT has explored every option to seek to avoid industrial action but for years we have met nothing but delay, prevarication or failure to respond.
“It is scandalous that the commitment and effort put in by the dedicated teaching workforce in Northern Ireland still does not attract the level of reward and conditions of service benefits which are the norm for their teaching colleagues elsewhere. That the NASUWT has had no option but to conduct a national ballot to enforce these provisions rather than Ministers and Employers taking the initiative is equally scandalous.
“Teachers require working conditions to enable them to continue to raise standards. Failure to address the needs of teachers is equally a failure to address the needs of the pupils.”
Notices to employers of the action to be taken and the action instructions to members were issued at the beginning of January 2009. The action taken by NASUWT members has succeeded in putting in place measures that have now become the normal working practices in most schools. Further NASUWT national action short of strike action instructions were issued on 18 November to take effect from 1 December 2011. These practices have had a real impact on reducing teacher workload. It is, therefore, important that these gains are consolidated.
In 2012, the NASUWT held a formal meeting with the Education Minister, John O’Dowd MLA, to discuss the Union’s national trade dispute and the actions needed to resolve the dispute. The meeting was cordial and generally positive, with the Minister open to discussing all aspects of the NASUWT trade dispute: pensions, pay, conditions of service, workload and job loss. The Union has written to the Minister since the meeting reiterating its concerns and setting out the next steps for resolution of the dispute.
New action short of strike action instructions began on 26 September 2012 and can be found on the NASUWT industrial action website at www.nasuwt.org.uk/IndustrialAction.
The current Teachers Pay Scales (Northern Ireland) is available in the 'Resources' box on the top right hand side of this page. Teachers' Pay Scales and information on Teaching Allowances are set out in Circular 2010/19 Teachers' Pay and Allowances from 1 September 2010 (new window). The Employers have also issued further Guidance on Teaching Allowances (new window). The Union has also produced advice concerning Pay and Career Progression outlining the current position. A two-year pay freeze has been imposed for 2011 and 2012, except for those earning £21,000 or less, who will receive an additional payment of at least £250 for 2012.
The Employing Authorities have issued a threshold letter to schools that outlines the threshold arrangements from September which included the following guidance and forms:
- A Quick Guide
- Guidance Notes
- Application Form
- Principal's Record form
- Feedback to Teachers form
- TR268 (UPS1)
- Handbook for Threshold Assessment
They also issued a letter to schools outlining the Upper Pay Scale (UPS) progression arrangements from September which included:
- Guidance on UPS2 and application form
- TR268 (UPS2)
- Guidance on UPS3 and application form
- TR268 (UPS3)
All of the Threshold and UPS Pay Scale progression documents are available in the Teachers pay and conditions (new window) section of the DENI website.
The Performance Review and Staff Development (PRSD) Scheme (new window), effective since 1 September 2004, applies to principals and teachers employed in grant-aided schools in Northern Ireland.
The Department of Education has also produced PRSD Guidance for Governors and Principals (new window).
Documents outlining family friendly rights for teachers can be found in the Leave of absence (new window) section of the DENI website, including:
- maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave and pay;
- additional paternity leave and additional statutory paternity pay for teachers from 3 April 2011;
- flexible working and job share arrangements;
- career breaks;
- teacher attendance and sick pay.
The Department for Employment and Learning (DELNI) provide more general information and guidance on work and family rights for Working Parents and Carers (new window) and further guidance on pregnancy and maternity rights is available from DELNI in the booklet Pregnancy and Maternity Rights in the workplace (new window).
The NASUWT produces guidance for members with children on the provisions for maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave. The guidance also contains information on rights to time off for family and domestic reasons.
Advice on the legal requirements in assessing risks in relation to new and expectant mothers’ job activities is set out in the Health and Safety Executive webpages for New and Expectant Mothers at Work (new window).
Members have the right to apply to work flexibly where they have:
- children aged under 17;
- disabled children aged under 18; or
- carer responsibilities
The NASUWT has produced general guidance on requesting Flexible working.
The NASUWT, through the Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council, successfully negotiated the opportunity for teachers to participate in salary sacrifice schemes for childcare vouchers/benefits, cycles for work and mobile phones. Information on the Salary Sacrifice Scheme are set out in Circular 2006/27 Teachers' Pay and Allowances from 1 September 2006 and 1 September 2007 (new window).
Any teacher taking on a temporary or ‘fixed-term’ contract should consult the Union.
Further information or assistance
Members needing further information or assistance should contact the Northern Ireland National Centre.
Please note that all of the links listed below will open in a new window.