First wave of rolling teachers strike announced

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The NASUWT, has announced the schools which will be involved in the first wave of the planned programme of rolling strikes which will take place this month.

They also warn that further rolling strikes are planned for January and February 2017.

NASUWT members in schools in Belfast and Newtownabbey will be the first to strike over "the derisory pay offer of 0% from the Minister of Education and the employers and their failure seriously to address the year on year pay cuts, excessive workload and widespread job insecurity teachers are facing".

The date of the strike action will be announced later in the week when the official notice is sent to employers.

Ms Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, said: "The high quality education to which all children and young people are entitled cannot be delivered by teachers whose professional lives are being blighted by deep pay cuts and excessive workload.

“Our children and young people are entitled to be taught by those who are recognised and rewarded as highly skilled professionals and who have working conditions which enable them to focus on teaching and learning.

“For fourteen months of negotiations on last year’s pay award to conclude with an offer of 0% shows that the employers had no intention of doing anything but delay the process to save money at the expense of hardworking teachers.

“And as if that was not enough to demonstrate to teachers, who are providing one of the most vital public services, the contempt with which they are being treated, the Minister then seeks to announce a ‘good news’ story on school funding, the bulk of which comes from plundering teachers’ pay packets.

“Teachers do not take strike action lightly. No one wants to disrupt the children and young people they teach or their parents but teachers’ pay and conditions are inextricably linked to the provision of high quality education."

Justin McCamphill, NASUWT National Official Northern Ireland, added: "We regret the disruption that will be caused to pupils and to teachers, if the ministers and employers fail to respond positively to the NASUWT’s reasonable proposition on how strike action can be avoided.

“Ministers and the employers have been given the money to pay teachers the minimum of 1% for 2015-16. It is nothing short of scandalous that they clearly do not think that paying teachers is important.

“Teachers have been left with no choice but to stand up to such a contemptuous attitude.”