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Minister calls for resolution of strike

15-10-2008


15/10/2008 :: Northern Ireland :: The Irish News

Education minister Caitriona Ruane has called for the resolution of a teachers' strike. Twenty-five of 37 teachers at Movilla High School in Newtownards, Co Down, have been on strike since Monday in a row over a pupil who is alleged to have assaulted a teacher in May.

The South Eastern Education and Library Board (SEELB) said it would suspend the teachers' pay for breach of contract.

In the assembly yesterday, Ms Ruane said the decision to suspend the teachers' pay would be reviewed if they agreed to take part in mediation.

But the NASUWT union said it would not take part in mediation unless preconditions were met.

A spokesman for the education board said it had "repeatedly advised the NASUWT that it was prepared to review its position".

Mrs Ruane said: "The SEELB offered to review the decision to suspend pay if one of the parties involved agreed to mediation.

"Everybody needs to start talking and get this resolved."

She said a situation where 540 children were out of school and teachers did not feel safe could not continue.

"There is a way through this," she said.

 

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