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Members of NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union in schools across Northern Ireland are being balloted over industrial action, it was announced today.

Education Minister Michelle McIlveen has been informed of the Union’s intentions to ballot for industrial action on pay, workload and working conditions.

The announcement follows the failure of the Department of Education and employers to bring forward a satisfactory pay offer for 2021-22. A two year pay offer in February this year was overwhelmingly rejected by NASUWT members.

The Minister has also failed to deliver on all commitments made in the 2020 workload agreement.

NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach said:

“Our members have expressed their deep frustration and anger over their pay, workload and working conditions and this has repeatedly not been addressed by the Minister.

“They have been resolute and clear that the pay offer made to them is an insult to their dedication and hard work.

“The measly offer came after months of delay and represented a further damaging real-terms cut to their pay as we enter the deepest cost of living crisis in half a century.

“To add insult to injury the failure to tackle excessive workload is further adding to the anger of teachers.

“Regrettably we have been left with no choice but to hold a ballot of our members for industrial action across Northern Ireland.

“The NASUWT will not stand by whilst teachers and principals are left to pick up the pieces of the pandemic and the damage that is being done to education and to the working lives of our members.”

NASUWT National Official Northern Ireland, Justin McCamphill said:

"The derisory pay offer we saw in February has been a kick in the teeth to the profession and is serving to make recruitment and retention of teachers harder at a time when we desperately need them.

"The lack of action to address serious concerns over workload just adds insult to injury. Two years ago, we agreed with the Department and employers that there would be: 'immediate introduction of a formal requirement on the Department, Employing Authorities and other arms’ length bodies to consider and consult on new initiatives which have the potential to impact on teacher workload'.

“Two years later schools continue to be bombarded with new initiatives which have not been workload impact assessed.

“This situation has forced teachers into a position where they are left with no choice.

"Our members are strong and united and will send a strong signal that this intolerable situation cannot be allowed to continue."
 

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