Pictured from right; Danielle Black, NEU, Mark McTaggart INTO, Jacquie White UTU, Ronan Sharkey NASUWT and Graham Gault NAHT.
Teachers’ Strike: 29 November 2023
Given that there has been no progress toward a resolution to the ongoing teachers’ pay dispute, the constituent members of the Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council, (NITC), today informed the Managing Authority of their intention to instruct members to engage in strike action beginning 00:01 on Wednesday 29 November 2023 and ending at 12 noon on Wednesday 29 November 2023.
As a further escalation to the action, NITC has announced that they are planning an additional four full day strikes to take place in the Spring term on dates to be agreed.
Jacquie White, Ulster Teacher’s Union (UTU) and Chair of NITC, said:
“Teachers and school leaders have been on Action Short of Strike for more than a year, and there is no sign that the Department of Education or the Secretary of State are in any rush to settle this dispute. It is high time they realised that our members are serious about seeking an urgent resolution to this untenable situation, and for that reason we are announcing 5 days of strike action.
No teacher wants to take this action; however, we now feel that management side has left us with no other option.”
Justin McCamphill, NASUWT and Vice-Chair of NITC said:
“The pay gap for teachers across the UK has now reached epic proportions. Teachers simply cannot continue as if everything is normal. Teachers are angry and are prepared to step up strike action in order to achieve a level of pay which allows them to provide for their families. Urgent action is now needed to address our concerns. The Secretary of State needs to come out of hiding and ensure that the education system in Northern Ireland is properly funded.”
Mark McTaggart, Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) and Secretary of NITC, said:
“It was the teachers and school leaders who put their own health and that of their families at risk during the pandemic to allow other key workers the opportunity to provide the essential work in caring for those who suffered with Covid.
Teachers have a right to receive a salary that truly reflects their value to society. The continued failure by those who hold the purse strings to provide this has the potential to have a devastating effect on the life chances of the children and young people in their care.”
Graham Gault, National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) further commented:
“The teaching profession has waited for a year for this dispute to be resolved and, indeed, have waited three years for any pay uplift whatsoever. In this time, as colleagues in every other jurisdiction on these islands have seen successive increases in remuneration, the teaching profession in Northern Ireland has been left very far behind.
The status quo is intolerable and simply will not be accepted. Today’s announcement must be a turning point.”
Pauline Buchanan, National Education Union (NEU) continued:
“Since Teachers last received a pay rise in 2020/21, we have been living through a horrendous cost of living crisis, whilst prices have soared, no increase has been made. The profession is undervalued, and under resourced and this is leading to many making the difficult choice to either leave or teach elsewhere. Teachers carry out vital work for the children of today, the workforce of tomorrow and shape education for generations to come and deserve at the very least, a decent pay rise – now.”