Teachers in Northern Ireland on strike over pay
The strikes in Belfast and Newtownabbey are the first of a series of rolling strikes in Northern Ireland over the next few months. The union is holding a rally for members at the Europa Hotel, Great Victoria Street, Belfast, BT2 7AP starting at 10am. The rally will be addressed by teachers and elected representatives of the NASUWT in Northern Ireland.
NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: “It is with deep regret that we have been forced to move to this positon, but we have been left with no choice by the blatant disregard of the Minister for Education for the pay and conditions of service of teachers who provide such a vital public service.
“Despite written reasonable requests to the Minister he has refused to accept that the situation teachers find themselves in has become untenable. As NASUWT members take the first day of strike action, the responsibility for the dispute rests entirely with the Minister.”
NASUWT national official Justin McCamphill said: “Teachers are committed and dedicated public service workers. They do not take strike action lightly. No teacher has any wish to inconvenience parents or disrupt pupils’ education, but this action is not the fault of teachers.
“The Minister has been given the money to pay teachers the minimum of 1% for 2015-16. It is nothing short of scandalous that he does not think that paying teachers is important. Teachers have been left with no choice but to stand up to such a contemptuous attitude.”