General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

 
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Classroom assistant's pay fight continues

26-09-2007

UTV News

Children in schools across Northern Ireland face serious disruption today as thousands of classroom assistants stage a one day strike.

The strike over pay goes ahead after Education Minister Caitriona Ruane failed to get employers and unions to agree a deal at last ditch talks which ran late last night.

The industrial action is centred on a regrading dispute which has been running for an astonishing 12 years.

Confirming the strike was going ahead the unions said more talks are to be held on Friday.

Alison Millar of NIPSA said: "The employers put some sort of proposal or suggestions on the table which we are considering."

Robin Harper, speaking on behalf of the employing education boards, said: "We had a further fairly lengthy discussion which was useful and in our view constructive.

We look forward to meeting again with the trade unions on Friday."

Most special schools are expected to be closed by the strike and mainstream schools are likely to shut at lunchtime.

Up to 7,000 classroom assistants, members of Unison and NIPSA are engaged in the pay fight - part of a regrading structure throughout education boards - and many are expected to attend a rally and march in central Belfast at lunchtime.

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