A formal offer on teachers’ pay for 2019 and 2020 has been accepted by the five main teaching unions, with unions saying the agreement is “a step in the right direction”.
The pay settlement will see teachers’ salaries increase by 2% — payable from September 1, 2019 — and an additional 2%, payable from September 1 2020.
Education Minister Peter Weir said: “I am pleased that the five trade unions which make up the Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council (NITC) have accepted a pay offer today on behalf of their members.
“Management side offered a cost of living increase of 2% payable from 1 September 2019 and an additional 2% payable from 1 September 2020. The pay award is applicable to all salary scales and teaching allowances.”
The business case for the pay offer will be subject to formal approvals from the Department of Finance.
Mr Weir added: “Teachers play a vital role in the Northern Ireland education system and I want to put on record my appreciation for the hard work they do on a daily basis, which has been made more difficult by the challenges of this pandemic.”
Unions welcomed the successful conclusion to negotiations.
Gerry Murphy, Northern Secretary of Irish National Teachers’ Organisation, said: “This salary uplift for the two years in question takes us further along the pathway in restoring teachers’ salaries to the levels they should be at.
“It is a task INTO will stick at and we remind our members that at the end of the summer we will begin negotiation with DE and the employing authorities on the next pay uplift.
“The uplift agreed of 2% for each of the years along with the associated back pay and the fact that the uplift comes with no strings attached is a positive step,” he added.
“Considering the state of the local economy and the previous struggles we have had to endure to secure a pay uplift for teachers this pay award represents a continued improvement for the hard-working teaching workforce.
“INTO members can expect to see this uplift reflected in their salaries before the summer break.”
A spokesperson for the NASUWT added: “Today’s 2% pay award for 2019 and 2020 is a step in the right direction for school teachers.
“It is entirely unfair that FE lecturers are being offered less along with demands for detrimental changes to their contracts.”
The offer to teachers was made on Wednesday, February 10.
Negotiations involved the employers and the Northern Ireland Teachers Council (NITC) which represents five unions — the NASUWT, INTO, Ulster Teachers’ Union UTU, the National Education Union and National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), along with representatives from the Department for Education and the Education Authority.