SDLP Children and Young People Spokesperson Cara Hunter has called for renewed efforts to reach a fair pay agreement and avert a teachers’ strike.
It comes after reports that multiple unions are considering joint strike action in their fight for a fair pay rise.
Ms Hunter said children’s education should not be disrupted and urged employers and the Department of Education to enter talks with unions.
East Derry MLA Cara Hunter said:
“News that our teaching unions are considering joint strike action in the next few months will cause significant concern to families who fear their children’s education being disrupted as a result. We have seen the impact of industrial action in other sectors and we cannot allow the same thing to happen in our schools due to a failure by employers and the department to recognise the significant pressures facing our teachers.
“The SDLP stands fully behind teachers in their fight for fair pay and working conditions, this has not happened overnight, teachers have been highlighting their concerns and taking industrial action for some time and nothing has been done to try and resolve the situation in a constructive way that recognises the impact of the cost of living emergency and inflation.
“Our teachers have been very patient up to this point, they are extremely passionate and dedicated to their jobs and the last thing they want is to see children missing school due to industrial action, but in the absence of a serious attempt to reach a fair agreement I understand why they feel they have no other option. Unless an agreement is reached imminently both our teachers and young people will suffer and I would urge employers and the department to sit down with unions and reach an agreement that recognises their concerns and ensures we don’t end up back in this position in the near future.”