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Education chief’s concern at strike action plans

Thursday, 12 January 2017

EMPLOYERS of teachers in Northern Ireland have expressed serious disappointment with the plans of two teaching unions, NASUWT and INTO, to engage in further strike action over teachers' pay.

The series of half day strikes are set to begin on January 18 with future dates to be confirmed. The strikes will impact on schools across the Armagh area.

Union members voted in favour of strike action as a result of the ongoing pay dispute.

Seamus Hanna, Chairman of the INTO's Northern Committee said in the Ulster Gazette (December 29 issue) that the INTO has taken every possible measure to talk to those in power and agree a deal which is right and just for its members and added that teachers' goodwill and professionalism will 'no longer be allowed to be taken for granted.'

Meanwhile, Chairperson of management side representing the employers and the Department of Education, EA Chief Executive Gavin Boyd said: "On behalf of the employers, I wrote to teacher representatives on November 25, 2016, inviting them to engage in immediate and intensive negotiations to try to resolve issues connected with industrial action.

"An initial meeting between employers and teacher representatives was agreed and is scheduled to take place on January 12, 2017.

"The employers are particularly concerned that strike action has been announced the week before these planned talks.

"Strike action remains futile and will only result in loss of pay for teachers and disruption for schools, pupils and parents.

"We urge the teaching unions to call off this strike action and to commit to meaningful negotiations as agreed."

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