Northern Ireland

NASUWT teachers to strike on 31 January

Children in school Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The dispute is over pay, workload and job insecurity

Teachers belonging to the National Association of Schoolmasters and Women Teachers are to stage a one-day strike over pay, workload and job insecurity.

NASUWT members in Derry City, Strabane, Mid Ulster, Fermanagh and Omagh council areas will strike on 31 January.

The union's teachers in Belfast and Newtownabbey staged a strike on 30 November closing a number of schools.

Members of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) are also due to stage a half-day strike on 18 January.

In October, all teaching unions in Northern Ireland rejected an offer that would have seen their pay frozen last year and a rise of 1% for 2016-17.

NASUWT regretted the further action, but had no choice but to take it, said its general secretary, Chris Keates.

"Strike action can be avoided if there is an improvement on the 0% pay award for 2015/16 and a genuine commitment to meet with the NASUWT to seek to resolve our trade dispute," she said.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The unions are due to meet the teaching employers again for talks on 12 January

The union's official in Northern Ireland, Justin McCamphill, said the strike was the responsibility of the education minister, Peter Weir, and the teaching employers.

"Parents will also recognise that unless teachers are recognised and rewarded as highly-skilled professionals and have working conditions which free them to focus on teaching and learning, there will be a long-term detrimental impact on the quality of education provision for their children," he said.

However, members of two other teaching unions, the Ulster Teachers' Union (UTU) and Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), have voted not to strike.

Instead they are taking action short of a strike including non-co-operation with school inspections by the ETI.

Peter Weir has previously called the strike action "futile" and urged the unions to negotiate pay settlements for the years ahead.

The unions are due to meet the teaching employers again for talks on 12 January.

More on this story