One of Northern Ireland's biggest unions has warned that schools here will be shut at the start of the next term if education workers' pay does not increase.
Unison's education sector members are on strike today as part of the biggest UK strike over pay since the Government came to power.
In a statement, Unison in Belfast said: "Unison education sector members taking strike action today to achieve a decent pay rise for workers on NJC (local government) pay scales are warning employers and their representatives at the negotiating table, that industrial action will almost certainly be escalated.
"If there is no real response to today's action, this means in September schools will be closed and all education workers will be on strike."
Across the UK, more than a million public sector workers will walk out in bitter disputes over pay, pensions, jobs and spending cuts.