SDLP Education Spokesperson Daniel McCrossan has said that the concerns of teachers must be heard and addressed.
He was speaking as five teaching unions take part in strike action across the North on Wednesday.
Mr McCrossan said that teachers and other school staff were entitled to fair pay and working conditions.
West Tyrone MLA Mr McCrossan said:
“The SDLP stands fully behind teachers who have taken the decision to strike on Wednesday as part of their long running dispute over fair pay and working conditions. While the disruption to schools and our children and young people’s education is regrettable, I know how difficult this decision has been for many teachers and they would not be taking such drastic action if they felt they had any other choice.
“Teachers in the North have consistently been the lowest paid of anywhere on these islands and the cost of living emergency combined with more and more being expected of our teachers and school staff has pushed many to breaking point and this just can’t continue. I have heard from many teachers that are considering moving to another area for better pay or leaving the profession altogether due to the toll the current situation is taking on them. With the dire state our education system is in we cannot afford to lose our greatest resource – our talented and dedicated staff.
“It is galling to hear politicians trying to shift blame for the current plight of teachers when Stormont Ministers from their own parties repeatedly failed to act on this issue, despite representations from myself and others. The SDLP were the only major party who committed to giving teachers an above inflation pay rise in our last Assembly manifesto.
"Westminster should step in and settle this pay dispute so that our teachers can get back to what they do best – but if the Executive returns in the near future the SDLP Opposition will be holding these politicians and their parties to their word when it comes to ensuring fair pay and working conditions for our teachers.”