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White female teacher standing in front of primary pupils

Education in Northern Ireland is chronically underfunded and schools and colleges need greater investment, young people require more support and teachers and lecturers deserve proper levels of pay, members of NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union will hear.

At the NASUWT Northern Ireland Annual Conference in Belfast, members will debate funding for education which needs immediate priority to ensure schools and colleges are well-funded.

It comes in the wake of the “Investing in a Better Future” report by the Independent Review of Education in Northern Ireland which among its key recommendations  called for greater investment in education as a priority.

A motion to be debated at the conference will congratulate members across Northern Ireland “for their continuing solidarity, dedication, and commitment to the NASUWT industrial action strategy.”

In January NASUWT members joined around 170,000 public sector workers in taking strike action across Northern Ireland in January in one of the largest strikes ever seen.

The Union’s members, who make up the majority of teachers and lecturers in Northern Ireland took the action as part of its Better Deal For Teachers and Lecturers campaigns and it followed a half day of strike action in schools in November and February last year and a full day of strike action in schools and FE colleges in April last year.

The motion to be debated this weekend calls for a strategy for engagement with the Northern Ireland Executive that:

  • ensures education is properly funded;
  • establishes a single employer for teachers and one department of education;
  • resists any change to academic selection that involves classroom based assessment;
  • establishes a professional body which is representative of the profession and commands it’s respect.

NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach said: “It is deeply regrettable that members have been put in the position where they have to take industrial action as part of their fight to secure better pay and parity with colleagues in other parts of the UK.

“Teachers have not had a pay increase for three years while FE lecturer pay is even worse.

“We call on members of the Northern Ireland Assembly to listen to the anger of teachers and lecturers and take swift and decisive action to ensure they receive a fair pay rise to bring them into line with their colleagues.”

NASUWT National Official Northern Ireland Justin McCamphill said:

“Our members shouldn’t have been put in the position where they had to take industrial action to get a cost-of-living award at a time when basic living costs are spiralling.

“Negotiations are continuing for teachers, and we hope that a significant offer can be put to members soon. Since 2010 teachers’ pay has fallen by over 38% in real terms. It is now incumbent on the Executive to develop a plan which restores teachers’ pay.

“In further education, lecturers’ pay is set to fall even further behind teachers’ pay This is unacceptable and must be addressed the employers and Department for the Economy.”


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