Education Minister Catriona Ruane today promised that a ministerial review will be held into the pay and progression structure of classroom assistants after members belonging to union Nipsa went back to the picket line this morning.
Around 3,000 members voted to reject the Government's £15m compensation package for changes in work conditions, despite three other unions overwhelming ruling in favour for it.
Last night one of the biggest unions, Unison, which has caused serious disruption to many special needs school, voted to accept the offer and withdraw from industrial action.
It said 88% of members who were balloted had accepted an employers' offer.
The Minister welcomed the move by the three unions but pleaded to the remaining classroom assistants who were continuing with strike action to re-consider the Government's offer.
She told the BBC that she recognised there were still a number of issues and that she planned to deal with them immediately.
"I am going to be initiating a ministerial review to look at some of the outstanding issues and this is where we can deal with issues of career progression for the workforce in our schools," she said.
"What I don't want is to create a situation where those grievances continue on. What we need to do is deal with them so people can go back to normality and create a good atmosphere in our schools.
"But what I would say to the classroom assistants that have not accepted the offer is to have a good look at the offer. I want to appeal to them to fully consider the offer and ask them what can they achieve by going back on the picket line today."
She refused to give a set date when the review would be held but did promise that it would not take 13 years to implement.
One of the biggest grievances held by striking assistants is the length of time it has taken for a review into pay and progression structures to held.
"My review will not take 13 years like it has so far," she said. "I don't want to put a time limit on it at this stage but it certainly won't be taking anywhere near the time that is has for a review to be taking."
Last night Nipsa general secretary John Corey said the Minister should meet demonstrators immediately.
"The fact that two other trade unions representing far less classroom assistants are saying they would accept the offer does not alter our position," he said. "If there are any disputes about the respective memberships, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions will have to step in and validate the position."
Nipsa is the only one to have taken industrial action in the dispute over pay and conditions and plans to continue its campaign at least until Christmas.
A meeting of all unions and employers has been called for Friday.