SDLP councillor Adam Gannon has said that teachers and pupils are suffering as the result of a failure to agree a fair pay rise.
Councillor Gannon, who is a teacher at St Kevin's College in Lisnaskea, is taking part in strike action for the first time on Tuesday.
He said that no teacher wanted to be placed in this position, but feel they have no other choice due to the failure to recognise the difficult situation facing staff.
Councillor Gannon said:
“No teacher wants to be on a picket line today, we want to be in our classrooms, working with our pupils. Teaching is not a career that anyone gets into for the money, it’s a vocation driven by a love of education and the chance to play a role in the lives of our young people.
“Every teacher I know regrets that this strike action is necessary, but we have seen a huge real-terms reduction in our wages over recent years. We are being impacted by the same cost of living emergency that is hurting everyone across the North and given the Department of Education and employers’ attitude to our situation, with Stormont’s institutions still not functioning, we see no other option to try and resolve this dispute.
“We aren’t asking for the earth, all we want is fair pay and working conditions. Teaching can be a very stressful and difficult environment, but it is also one of the most rewarding professions there is. Financial pressures are forcing teachers to take on additional work and to consider leaving the profession altogether, all the while our education budget faces huge cuts due to Tory austerity.
"If we want the best for our young people then we need teachers that are motivated, engaged and not in a constant state of worry about how they will pay their bills. We also need funding that allows our pupils to reach their full potential. That’s the message we are sending on the picket line today and the department and employers needs to start listening.”