The Upper Bann MLA said,
“Teachers, school leaders and other staff who all play a key role in the education of our children and young people have not had a pay rise for three years. That position is neither sustainable nor fair. Staff here in Northern Ireland deserve comparable pay with their counterparts across the rest of the United Kingdom.
The Education Authority however are predicting a £200million overspend in this financial year alone because their budget, like others right across the public sector in Northern Ireland does not meet basic needs. That overspend has arisen without any pay award and is set to worsen year-on-year.
As the budget stands today it is not a lack of will preventing those pay awards, nor the lack of a Minister but the lack of needs-based funding for our public services. The DUP will continue to stand in support of teaching staff, and those across other vital public services who deserve to be paid properly.
It has been the DUP alone who have shone a spotlight on the need for sustainable needs-based funding for Northern Ireland and placed it at the centre of debate. It has been the DUP who have pressed this in our discussions with Government and we will continue to make the case for sustainable public services in Northern Ireland.”