Pay offer to teachers is rejected as 'an insult'
Teaching unions in Northern Ireland have rejected a pay offer from Stormont, branding it "an insult".
Teachers here had been offered a 1% rise for the financial year 2016/17.
Two teachers' unions have slammed the offer as "derisory", claiming it is a pay cut in real terms.
The largest union here, the NASUWT, said the 1% offer would "continue the severe erosion of teachers' pay", adding it was also contingent on provisions which would potentially depress salary levels even further in the longer term.
Gerry Murphy from the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) said the offer was the final straw.
Strike action has not been ruled out.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said it would be inappropriate to comment as pay negotiations were conducted on a confidential basis.
The NASUWT is calling for an across the board, above inflation cost of living award.
General secretary Chris Keates said the attitude of the employers towards teachers was "disgraceful".
"Having made one offer which was inadequate they returned with one which was worse," he said.
"The NASUWT presented detailed evidence demonstrating the impact of years of ongoing pay caps and pay freezes on teachers' salaries and the employers have failed to take these concerns seriously.
"Pay has declined. Workload has increased. Jobs have been lost.
"The NASUWT will now have to give serious consideration to the next steps."