NITC statement

The five recognised teacher unions are calling on all teachers and school leaders to take a full day of strike on the 26 April.


Our members have waited far too long for a satisfactory offer from the employers.

Teachers pay, in real terms, has dropped by nearly a quarter in the ‘lost decade’ since the pay-freeze of 2010-11. We are now stepping up out campaign for a fair deal for all teachers.”

“Our members have watched governments in other jurisdictions make offers which will lead to pay levels far in excess of what is available in Northern Ireland.

Collectively the five recognised unions are saying enough is enough and that government and employers must act now to deliver a pay settlement which recognises the real terms loss suffered by teachers for more than a decade.”

NEU are notifying the employers of our NI teacher members of our intention to take this further strike action.

The NEU position on the key issues of teachers pay, and education funding, is grounded in the real lived experience of our members and is based on the clear evidence of what is needed to urgently address the crisis in teacher and school leader pay.

In the absence of any pay offer from DENI our members continue to suffer huge real terms cut to their pay.

The last pay rise for teachers in Northern Ireland was 2% in September 2019, and 2% in September 2020.

The impact of more than a decade of unjustified, unevidenced and damaging Government attacks on pay has resulted in critical and serious risks to the supply of teachers and school leaders.

We know from what our members tell us that morale in the profession is at rock bottom. Teachers and school leaders played a major part in the country’s response to the pandemic, only to see the Government continue to intensify the cuts to their pay. Teachers and school leaders are so important to our economy and society – but are so undervalued by the Government.

Our members’ anger has grown, and their disenchantment has deepened.

The current economic context for teachers and school leaders is one of huge real terms pay cuts and a deepening cost of living crisis.

In the Government perverse inflation policy, they continue to argue that an inflation proof pay rise would drive prices even higher in the future. Government spokespeople consistently use warnings of a “wage/price spiral” to defend the Government’s policy of inflicting enormous real terms cuts on public sector workers including teachers and school leaders. Such claims make no sense. The key drivers of high inflation are soaring energy costs.

Real wages are falling significantly – and, for teachers and leaders, this has been a long-term trend.

That is why we are escalating our action.

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