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Northern Ireland teachers hit out at 'blatant sexual discrimination' over gender pay gap

Teachers in Northern Ireland have hit out at ‘blatant sexual discrimination’ over the gender pay gap in the profession.

Avril Hall Callaghan, general secretary of the Ulster Teachers’ Union said, 100 years on from the Suffragettes' fight for the vote, women are still fighting for equality in the workplace.

She said: “Compared to other public sector workers the level of maternity pay, for instance, for teachers falls far short and given that child-birth is an issue affecting women we regard this pay differential as one of blatant sex discrimination.”

She added:  “It beggars belief that in this day and age when society is so aware of discrimination we can still have such blatant differences being made within the public sector."

"Men occupy almost half of all principal posts even though women make up a much larger part of the teaching force, particularly at primary level and the proportion of male teachers being promoted is actually accelerating at a time when fewer men than ever are entering teaching.”

Recent figures from the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland showed that more than three-quarters of the profession - 76.8%- was female. However, this figure drops to 56.71% among principals.

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