The East Belfast MP said, “The industrial action by school support workers, including bus drivers follows that announced by teachers and those working to deliver other vital public services.
The obstacle to proper and fair pay awards lies not with a lack of political will, or even the lack of fully-functioning political institutions, but the lack of a budget to deliver them. The baseline funding received from Treasury is not sufficient to meet the Government’s own definition of need. Because public sector pay is one of the most significant components of any Department’s spending it is often the most visible symptom of this financial pressure.
This isn’t just a case of waiting for next year’s budget either but will only worsen year on year with underfunding set to increase. Not only is it impossible to sustain and run first-class services that are underfunded, but as we move forward delivering services at all would become unsustainable.
The DUP has been pressing this issue in our discussions with Government and we will continue to highlight the need for Northern Ireland should not be placed at a disadvantage to other regions of the United Kingdom. School support workers and everyone else working across our public sector deserve a budget which will allow them to be properly paid.”