The National Education Union (NEU) has announced that its members will be going on strike on April 26, 2023 along with colleagues from other teaching unions. Teachers have not seen an uplift in pay since April 2022 decision comes after months of negotiations with the Department of Education over issues such as pay, workload, and funding for schools.
According to NEU Regional Secretary Mark Langhammer, teachers in Northern Ireland are facing significant challenges that are impacting their ability to deliver high-quality education to their students. These challenges include a lack of resources and support, increasing workload, and stagnant pay.
Mark Langhammer said, "Our members have been left with no choice but to take this action. No meaningful progress has been made and inflation remains rampant. Energy-inflation in the UK over the past year has soared above 180% in the UK, whilst in France – with its publicly owned EDF – energy costs have risen by only 4%. Privatised energy companies have used the crisis of the NATO/Russian war as an opportunity to blatantly profiteer off the backs of working people."
The schools’ budget has been lacerated with shocking cuts to Happy Healthy Minds, the Engage Programme and Free School Meal holiday payments. Teachers and parents are left to ‘make do and mend’ whilst the Chancellor’s budget provides a £4bn tax giveaway to benefit the wealthiest people in the UK. This handout for the richest 1% allows those with a £2m pension pot to pay up to £275,000 less in tax. The super-wealthy ‘1% brigade’ is the first priority for this government, not honest public servants. Our members have had enough.”
The strike of NEU and other unions is expected to have a significant impact on schools across the region. The union has communicated all essential notifications to the employing authorities in line with the law in March.
The strike is scheduled to take place on April 26 for a full day and will involve teachers from both primary, post primary and special schools. The NEU has said that it will continue to work with other unions and schools to ensure that the strike is well-coordinated and effective.