In Northern Ireland agreement on teachers' pay and conditions of service is reached through the Teachers' Salaries and Conditions of Service Committee (Schools) – commonly known as the Teachers’ Negotiating Committee or ‘TNC’.
TNC comprises the employing authorities/employer representatives, the Department of Education (DE) and the five recognised teachers' unions (INTO, NASUWT, UTU, NEU, and NAHT).
The Department of Education determines teachers' pay in accordance with the provisions of Article 69 (1) and (6) of the Education and Libraries Order 1986, and issues Pay Determinations/Circulars which give legal effect to salary changes.
Teachers' (Terms and Conditions of Employment) Regulations (Northern Ireland 1987) (and the Amendment Regulations of 1988, No. 299) set out the terms and conditions of employment of teachers in all grant-aided schools.
In short, a full-time teacher, is contracted to be available for work on 195 days in any year of which not more than 190 days should involve teaching children in a classroom situation.
A teacher shall be available to perform under the ‘reasonable direction’ of the Principal.
A teacher is contracted to work for 1,265 hours in any year (exclusive of time spent off school premises in preparing and marking lessons). A ‘year’ is 12 months commencing on 31st July and a ‘week’ means a period of 7 days commencing on a Sunday.
A teacher is only required to teach in a classroom situation for a maximum 25 hours in any week in a primary or special school and 23.5 hours in any week in a secondary school.
Unless employed under a separate contract as a mid-day supervisor, a teacher shall not be required to undertake mid-day supervision and is entitled to a break of at least 30 minutes between the hours of 12 noon and 2.00 pm (in nursery schools / nursery units in primary schools 30 minutes between the hours of 12 noon and 2.30pm).
The main TNC policies (and supporting information) that make up a teacher’s contract of employment are: