UUP MLA Overend backs teachers in pay dispute

Sandra Overend
Sandra Overend

The UUP’s education spokeswoman has issued a statement saying that she backs teachers as they seek to strike a deal on “fair pay”.

Sandra Overend MLA (representing Mid Ulster) was speaking just days after the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) approved strike action for its members in the Province from late November, saying they had been angered by a proposed 0% pay rise for 2015/16, and 1% for 2016/17.

It has around 11,850 members in the Province, across both primary and secondary schools.

Mrs Overend said: “I absolutely support teachers in pursuit of fair pay.

“After speaking to teachers and hearing their concerns it seems to me that they are feeling undervalued and that their hard work is not being rewarded fairly.

“It is particularly concerning to note that teachers’ pay in Northern Ireland is failing to keep pace with teachers across the UK.

“We do not need any more of our young people or skilled teachers attracted away by the promise of higher wages.

“However, ultimately, this is a matter between the Education Authority and the teachers’ unions and I hope they come to an agreement very soon.”