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Teachers demand 10% pay increase

07-03-2008


07/03/2008 :: Northern Ireland :: The Irish News

All principals and teachers - including some earning almost £100,000 a year - are demanding a 10 per cent pay rise.

An influential body representing staff is fighting for the increase to happen this year.

Unions say they deplore efforts to reduce pay to "colonial dominion status".

The salary claim, around five times the rate of inflation, mirrors demands made in England and Wales where the National Union of Teachers is threatening strikes.

There are fears that the five teachers' unions in the north could follow suit.

Details of the fresh request for a significant hike in pay come amid a series of high-profile teachers' conferences. Demands for salary parity with Britain will be heard at the NASUWT annual conference, which begins today.

Teachers claim that:

- their pay fails to reflect the high degree of professionalism expected of them

- during the last 30 years schools have suffered from "boom and bust" pay policies

- paying teachers at levels un-competitive with those of other graduate professions will damage recruitment.

The Northern Ireland Teachers' Council (NITC), which negotiates salaries and working conditions, is demanding the rise.

"Council calls for a 10 per cent increase on all points and allow-ances of the salary scales for teachers, principals and vice-principals," it said.

Teachers earn between £20,000 and £35,000 a year, whereas principals are paid between £40,000 and £98,000.

It is understood that only about 10 principals earn more than £78,000 a year and a very small number are at the top of the scale.

A high proportion of principals and vice-principals are paid be-tween £42,000 and £45,000.

More than 7,500 teachers also receive bonuses ranging from £1,722 to £11,109. About 185 receive the highest bonus.

Such allowances are paid to those with extra responsibilities such as heading up after-school schemes or taking charge of a year group or curriculum area.

NITC honorary secretary Frank Bunting said inflation had re-duced the value of members' pay.

Teachers and other public sector workers, he said, should not be expected to sustain "such continuing pay cuts".

"Northern Ireland teachers val-ue their negotiating machinery deplored by mal-disposed elements that seek to remove them and reduce Northern Ireland teachers' pay and conditions of service to colonial dominion status," he said.

 

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