Most teachers in Northern Ireland are on strike for the first time in five years after the pause in pay disputes.

Half-next month there will be day strikes by the three main teaching unions – the UTU, INTO and NASUWT.

Teachers will take 12 hours off work from school on Tuesday 21 February before returning to their normal afternoon duties because they are not being offered “fair and decent” pay.

Many schools are expected to close until 12pm on the day as most teachers in Northern Ireland are represented by the three unions.

Teachers from the unions NASUWT, INTO, UTU and NAHT had previously voted in favor of the strike option. The NEU also selects its members for strike action.

Gerry Murphy, INTO’s Northern Secretary, said: “Everyone knows that strikes are a last resort and something that unions always try to avoid, but our members voted in favor of strikes because they believe that action is the only option they have. has. available to send a clear signal that they have endured a steady erosion of the real value of their wages since 2010, effectively amounting to a 20% pay cut.

“It can not go on like this. Our members rightly expect that their wages and conditions will not be further eroded, especially during a cost of living crisis. Not only must they keep up with double-digit inflation, but they must also reflect our members’ contribution to society.

“The Department of Education needs to wake up and realize that this pay cut has created a crisis in teacher recruitment and retention. More and more teachers and principals are leaving the profession, and with education underfunded, employers are struggling to replace them.”

Justin McCamphill, NASUWT National Official Northern Ireland, said his members are calling for a fully funded 12% reward for 2022/23.

“Our members would rather work with their students at the school but have had no choice but to use this measure to assert their right to a salary that reflects their skilled and difficult work and enables them to cost of living crisis,” he added. .

“The current salary offer is simply not enough. Teachers are not willing to take another real pay cut and keep fighting for a better deal.

“The cost of living crisis has exacerbated this situation and unless the department and employers act to provide teachers with fair and reasonable pay, we cannot rule out further strikes in the coming months.”

School leaders recently wrote to Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris expressing “significant concern about the impact of the current crisis on education funding”.

The Education Authority (EA) also said it could not deliver a £110 million savings plan proposed by Mr. Heaton-Harris was proposed before the end of March.

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