McLaughlin: Economy Minister provides little comfort for further education lecturers

economy further education higher education Sinéad McLaughlin Teachers

SDLP Opposition Economy Spokesperson Sinéad McLaughlin has said that further education lecturers will be deeply disappointed after Minister Conor Murphy refused to commit to pay parity with teachers.

Ms McLaughlin challenged the Minister on the issue during economy question time in the Assembly on Tuesday.

Foyle MLA Ms McLaughlin said:

“Further education lecturers are absolutely livid at the current situation which sees them earning considerably less than the pay deal offered to school teachers. I have engaged with a number of lecturers on this issue and some have described earning less than the students they are teaching on higher level apprenticeship programmes, this is farcical and anyone could understand why lecturers are so annoyed.

“The Minister had the opportunity today to give a clear commitment to further education lecturers that he would establish the pay parity with school teachers that they deserve. Instead he spoke only of aspiration, something that will carry very little weight with lecturers who have been pushing for a fair pay deal for a number of years.

“I understand that every Executive department is under financial pressure but I fail to understand how the Executive can justify this pay uplift for school teachers but not for further education lecturers. Both play a hugely important role in our education system and need to feel valued for the work that they do and be able to afford a decent standard of living so that they can perform their role to the best of their ability. The SDLP Opposition will continue to fight for further education lecturers and workers in all sectors to get the fair pay and working conditions they deserve.”

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