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Teaching unions in NI reach proposed agreement on pay and conditions

Teaching unions in NI reach proposed agreement on pay and conditions. Credit: PA

Teaching unions have agreed on a draft deal on pay and working conditions in Northern Ireland.

The deal includes salary increases and a major review of workload.

Unions are due to consult with their members on the deal before they accept.

If they accept, teachers will get a sum of money backdated to September 2017.

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

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

This long overdue offer follows two years of negotiation.

– Ms Chris Keates, General Secretary (Acting) of the NASUWT- The Teachers’ Union

Ms Keates added: "It is regrettable that the lack of action caused primarily by having no government until January 2020 held this pay and workload offer back 10 months after it was agreed in principle.

“The NASUWT will now be consulting with our members on this offer.

“A pay offer for 2019-20 is long overdue, while teachers are also due another pay award in September.”

Education Minister Peter Weir welcomed the progress on the negotiations.

In a statement he said: “I am pleased that there has been progress on the issue of teachers’ pay and workload with a formal offer being made to the teaching unions. Since returning to the Executive in January I have made resolution of this long-running industrial dispute a priority and ensured that appropriate financial provision for a pay award was included in my decisions on the allocation of the Department of Education’s budget.

“The five trade unions which make up the Northern Ireland Teaching Council (NITC) will now consult with their members on the proposals in advance of any formal acceptance.

“I would urge all teachers to consider the formal offer which, if accepted, will bring an end to current industrial action which has been ongoing since January 2017.

“In the current Covid-19 crisis, I want to acknowledge the role our principals and our teaching workforce is playing by keeping schools open for the children of key workers and for vulnerable children and for their tremendous work in maintaining distance learning for our children and young people.”