Teachers 'continuing to face austerity'

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary

A TEACHING union has said it is "scandalous" that austerity is to continue for classroom staff.

Health service workers were told this week they would be able to receive pay rises of more than 1 per cent after extra money was allocated to the Department of Health.

Staff in other departments will only be awarded increases if they can be paid for by making efficiency savings elsewhere in the system.

Teaching unions have been involved in industrial action over pay, which has included strike days and refusal to cooperate with inspections.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said the latest development "offers little hope for teachers".

"It is a gross insult to teachers to state that pay increases above 1 per cent must be paid for by efficiency savings. The reality for schools in Northern Ireland is that there is nowhere else left to cut at school level," she said.

"Teachers and students continue to pay the price for Westminster imposed austerity coupled with the legacy of economic mismanagement from the Stormont executive.

"Money can and must be found at central government level to ensure that schools can function and teachers can be adequately rewarded for the job that they do."

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