Northern Ireland teachers vote for strike action

Teachers in Northern Ireland are now poised to become the latest to go on strike, it has emerged.

By Niall Deeney
Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 3:48 pm
Generic school corridor image).
Generic school corridor image).

Members of the NASUWT teaching union in Northern Ireland have voted overwhelmingly in support of industrial action in a dispute over pay, workload and adverse working conditions.

The union said 81% of ballot papers returned voted in support of strike action, with 98% in support of action short of strike action.

The union said the result follows a recent survey of members which found the vast majority of NASUWT members expressed concerns about the failure of the Department of Education and the employers to deliver on the 2020 Agreement, with 74% saying that their workload had increased significantly in the last two years.

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The union also pointed to a survey finding that showed 54% said they were seriously considering leaving teaching.

Following the result Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said: “Members have delivered an emphatic and unequivocal message in voting for industrial action. There is deep anger at the inadequate pay and the ever increasing workloads faced by teachers.

“This strength of feeling must now be recognised and the pay, workload and working conditions must be addressed by the Education Minister.

“Teachers wish to avoid industrial action but they have been left with no choice by the derisory pay offer and the failure to tackle spiralling workloads. Our members are strong and united and they are saying they will no longer tolerate the damage being done to education and to their working lives.”

NASUWT National Official Northern Ireland, Justin McCamphill added: “Today’s ballot result must be a wake-up call to the Minister who has singularly failed to deliver the fair pay and working conditions that teachers need and deserve.

“This is a strong and united result from our members. We will now enter a sustained period of industrial action across Northern Ireland’s schools. Details of the industrial instruction will be sent to employers and members imminently.”