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Processing error leaves 5,000 school staff unpaid in Northern Ireland

By Rebecca Black

Published 17/05/2016

Wages: 5,000 workers were affected. Image posed by models
Wages: 5,000 workers were affected. Image posed by models

More than 5,000 non-teaching staff at schools in Co Tyrone and Londonderry received their salaries late this month due to a processing error.

The staff, who are understood to be all part-time and included classroom assistants and care takers, had been due to be paid yesterday.

Workers were supposed to receive their salary on May 15. The error mainly affects those paid by the Education Authority (EA) at its Omagh office.

The 5,200 workers affected were due to be paid at midnight yesterday.

The EA has issued an apology over the incident and explained it had been down to a processing error.

A worker from Londonderry was one of those affected, and said that workers were "angry and frustrated".

"I typed in my number and there were no wages," she said.

"So I immediately phoned my supervisor because I thought it was a mistake only on my wages.

"He told me everyone was affected at the campus. It left me thinking there's an awful lot of people depending on their money on the 15th and it is crucial to them.

"Quite a few I know have children and they depend on this money coming in every month on the 15th."

Phyllis Taylor, who works at a school in Londonderry, said it was a worrying day for many staff. "If they haven't got any kind of a back-up and they are solely dependent on their wages it is going to be sore on them," she said.

A spokesperson from the EA said that the wages would be paid at midnight yesterday.

"Due to a processing error, a payment which was due to be made by the Omagh payroll office to a number of Education Authority staff on Monday, May 16, 2016 has been delayed," he said.

"The issue has since been resolved and we have been advised by the banker's automated clearing system (BACS) provider that payment will be issued to banks at midnight tonight.

"We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused."

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