General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

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Two teachers' unions set to merge



Two of Northern Ireland's main teachers' unions have established formal links for the first time.

The Ulster Teachers' Union and the Irish National Teachers' Organisation have formed a new board.

The UTU traditionally represents those in controlled schools while the INTO represents those in the Catholic maintained sector.

The board will represent the majority of NI teachers in the primary and post-primary sectors.

Avril Hall-Callaghan from UTU has said the arrangement would make them a more powerful voice.

"UTU, as the only Northern Ireland based teaching union in the province, has a detailed knowledge of the issues here," she said.

"The INTO, with its all-Ireland remit, can complement as well as augment all that. By working together the UTU and INTO are uniquely placed to meet the challenges and support the education system here.

"While we have already been working together in a range of areas, we felt the time was now right to formalise our relationship with the formation of the joint UTU/INTO Board."

Frank Bunting, northern secretary of the INTO, said: "Teachers in Northern Ireland need local solutions to their problems. Importing English solutions has generally led to greater problems and inefficiency.

"The two unions representing the majority of Northern Ireland teachers in primary and post-primary sector, are pooling their resources to offer an even better service locally to Northern Ireland teachers."


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