Minister tells INTO conference resolution of industrial action is critical

A resolution to ongoing industrial action in schools is critical, Education Minister Paul Givan has told delegates at a teachers’ trade union conference today.

By Paul Givan MLA

Lagan Valley

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The Minister was speaking at the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) Northern Conference where he restated that continued industrial action is having a serious detrimental impact on the education of our children and young people across Northern Ireland.

Addressing delegates the Minister said: “The resolution of the ongoing industrial action is critical to me. I am committed to stabilising the education system and this cannot be achieved with the ongoing industrial action, including action short of strike.

“I want to state clearly that it is not acceptable that teachers have not received a pay award for three years. Our teachers and school leaders deserve to be paid at a level which recognises the outstanding job they do.

“Immediately following my appointment, I met with the five recognised teaching trade unions (NITC). I hope that following continuing negotiations, it will soon be possible to bring an end to all industrial action and provide teachers with a pay award which recognises their value.”

Turning to wider investment in Education, the Minister continued: “Since taking up office just under one month ago, I have set out a clear vision of how I want to reshape our Education offering to deliver a system that is worthy of our children, our teachers and our ambitions for a prosperous and dynamic Northern Ireland.

“That cannot be achieved without adequate and recurrent investment, particularly in regard to pay awards. We know that education is facing significant challenges and with the current financial resources we cannot presently meet the increasing demands placed on the system.

“Let me assure you, I will continue to fight Education’s corner to make the case for additional capital resources from the Executive’s Budget 2024-25.”

The Minister was addressing the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) 156th Annual Northern Conference.

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