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Northern Ireland teachers agree 'long-awaited' pay rise

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Northern Ireland's teachers have approved a pay rise

Northern Ireland's teachers have approved a pay rise

Northern Ireland's teachers have approved a pay rise

Northern Ireland's teachers have accepted a pay rise to end long-running industrial action.

The Ulster Teachers' Union (UTU) said that its members had "overwhelmingly" accepted the pay deal which will also improve working conditions.

An agreement was reached between teaching unions and the Department of Education (DoE) earlier this month.

Industrial action by teachers in protest of pay and conditions had been ongoing since the start of 2017.

In addition to incremental progression within salary scales, which is payable by contractual entitlement, salary scale points will be revised.

With effect from September 1 2017, a 2.25% cost of living pay award will be paid to all teachers, and teaching allowances will be increased by 2.25%.

With effect from September 1 2018, a further 2% cost of living pay award will be paid to all teachers and teaching allowances will be increased by 2%.

UTU General Secretary Jacquie White said members had welcomed the deal.

“It breaks the public sector pay cap and finally gives our members pay parity with their colleagues elsewhere in the UK for that period,” she said.

“The deal has been hard-fought, long-awaited and is well-deserved but it was always about more than pay and now this deal will also – from September - protect teachers against crippling workloads.

“Indeed, the nine review areas covered by the award have the potential to reshape the education system over the coming years in a way which mutually benefits teachers, principals and employers."

Mrs White said UTU would continue their campaign for teachers to be paid the same as their colleagues in other parts of the UK in future.

“However, our work to secure and maintain pay awards commensurate with our professional standing and with our colleagues elsewhere in the UK goes on," she said.

“The Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council (NITC) will now begin the process of submitting a pay claim for 2019-20 and 2020-21, addressing the losses against inflation and which will be benchmarked against neighbouring jurisdictions.

“The UTU looks forward to working with its fellow teaching unions and the employers to secure the future our teachers and principals deserve.”

Teachers also agreed that measures surrounding workload, industrial relations, inspection, health and wellbeing will be implemented from the date of ratification of the agreement.

They include areas like substitute teachers, special educational needs, the impact of workload on school leaders and a review of assessment as well as steps to improve teachers’ wellbeing.

Belfast Telegraph