Education news

Sub teachers `cannot feed families' union warns

Sub teachers have been left without pay since schools shut

DAY-to-day sub teachers cannot pay their bills, heat their homes or feed their families, a union leader has warned.

The school lockdown is now in its seventh week and many teachers have not received a single penny since classes ended.

Stormont ministers have asked the UK Treasury to extend its coronavirus job retention scheme to substitute teachers.

If that request fails, the Department of Education has said it will look at its internal resources, although it is already under severe financial strain.

NASUWT national official Justin McCamphill said supply staff had waited long enough.

"We contacted the Department of Education on March 19 in relation to the plight of day-to-day subs and while we are continually being reassured that something is happening, the reality for substitute teachers now is that they cannot pay their bills, heat their homes or feed their families," he said.

"Substitute teachers in Scotland who are employed on the same basis as their colleagues here have been paid while teachers in England who are employed through agencies have received furlough payments.

"Most of the substitute teachers who I have spoken to are the main earner in the family while in several cases both parents in the family are substitute teachers. They have looked on while support has been put in place for the private sector, the self employed and local government workers while they have to wait. This unfairness must end now.?"

The assembly education committee this week was told that department officials hoped to resolve the issue urgently.

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Education news