WATCH: East Belfast nursery school split in two by strike action

An east Belfast nursery school has been ‘split in half’ by today’s teacher’s strike.

Orangefield Nursery School, which has 52 pupils divided into two classes, was left with one class in and one class off due to a strike by NASUWT members.

A mother who has two children at the school said: “My daughter is in the primary school and she is in today. My son is in nursery and his class is off, yet children in the other nursery class are in.

“It’s not the most convenient. I’ve had to take the day off work to look after him.

“I’ve never been a fan of strike action. I think the teachers do a great job and deserve more but all they’re doing today is bringing extra hassle to children and parents. It won’t change anything.”

As well as one of the nursery classes being off, Orangefield confirmed one P4 class and two P6 classes were also off today due to NASUWT strike action.

NASUWT The Teachers' Union in Northern Ireland hold a strike and meeting at the Europa Hotel in Belfast over pay increase issues. 
Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye.

NASUWT The Teachers' Union in Northern Ireland hold a strike and meeting at the Europa Hotel in Belfast over pay increase issues. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye.

Meanwhile at nearby Grosvenor Grammar School only sixth form pupils were in attendance with all other classes off due to the teacher’s strike.

There was a large turn out of NASUWT members this morning at the Europa Hotel in Belfast.

The rally was held to “send a strong message to politicians, employers, the public and the media about why teachers deserve more and why the profession must be valued”.

The Education Authority have said today’s strike action is “futile”.

The Management side issued the following statement: “The employers, employer representatives and the Department are extremely disappointed that members of NASUWT have today taken strike action across Belfast and Newtownabbey.

“Teachers’ pay negotiations have concluded for 2015 and 2016 and will not be re-opened. Today’s strike action is futile.

“Management Side remain committed to working with the teaching unions to find an agreed way forward. We have written to the Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council to put forward a proposal for immediate and intensive negotiations to resolve issues connected with the industrial action. What we are proposing is a new approach that seeks to agree a way forward over a period of years.

“To create an appropriate environment for these discussions to take place, we are calling for all industrial action to be suspended. We urge the teaching unions to enter into these negotiations without further delay.”