General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

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Teachers may strike to get parity of pay


18/11/2008 :: Northern Ireland :: The Irish News

Schools may be thrown into chaos if a plan by Northern Ireland's largest teachers' union for industrial action in support of achieving parity with their colleagues in Britain is backed.

Teachers angry at being denied the same pay and working conditions as colleagues in England and Wales are threatening to launch their biggest ever industrial action.

The NASUWT will be issuing notices of a ballot for industrial action today to all Northern Ireland employers and schools.

The ballot is to support the union's campaign for parity for Northern Ireland teachers with their colleagues in England and Wales.

Teachers in the north receive lower annual cost of living increases and allowances for taking on extra responsibility.

They are also denied access to an 'excellent teacher' scheme which sees colleagues elsewhere achieve higher pay without having to become a principal or vice-principal.

For the past three years teachers in Wales and England have also been given classes to prepare lessons and mark homework.

About 11,000 Northern Ireland NASUWT members were asked to respond to a survey designed to establish priorities for improvements to working conditions and to determine what action they would be prepared to take.

Ninety-three per cent of respondents backed some form of industrial action, while 60 per cent said they would support a strike.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said union members' patience was "exhausted".



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