General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

 
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Classroom strike may be suspended

15-10-2007

Nipsa's John Corey said employers must be prepared to reach a deal. The trade union which is representing classroom assistants on strike will consult its members on suspending industrial action this week.

After weekend talks at the Labour Relations Agency, employers have agreed to further negotiations to discuss pay and conditions. However, Nipsa and the other unions involved say the core issues causing the strike remain unresolved.

Education Minister Caitriona Ruane said she was pleased with the development.

"I would like to thank the four unions and the education and library board," she said.

"I am delighted with this news, it gives a bit of breathing space to get the remaining issues resolved."

NIPSA General Secretary John Corey said it was an important step forward for the NIPSA members who have been on strike for nine days.

"The employers have now accepted the need to enter negotiations on the key issues that caused this dispute and have also affirmed that the current terms and conditions of employment of classroom assistants cannot be unilaterally varied," he said.

"However, we are still only at the start of the negotiating process to achieve an agreement that will be acceptable to all classroom assistants."

A total of 27 special schools are closed because of an indefinite strike by Nipsa affiliated staff which began last Monday.

About 3,000 members of Nipsa are staging an indefinite strike over pay and job re-grading.


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