Northern Ireland teachers' strike futile and pay talks have ended, says Education Authority
The Education Authority - which is the overarching management body for schools in Northern Ireland - has branded Wednesday's teacher strike as "futile".
Teachers in Belfast and Newtownabbey have taken to picket lines in a dispute over pay, workload and job security.
Some schools have been forced to close as a result of the action.
The strike has been organised by teachers' union the NASUWT following a breakdown in negotiations with employers over pay.
Unions have demanded a 13% pay rise for teachers, Education Minister Peter Weir revealed, describing it as "unrealistic".
Pay negotiations lasted for 13 months before breaking down and ending with unions rejecting a 1% offer.
The Education Authority called for the industrial action to be suspended.
It said: "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."
Belfast Telegraph Digital