Northern Ireland

Newly-qualified teachers in Northern Ireland could earn £30,000 starting salary

Education Minister Paul Givan said he hopes the offer will bring to an end industrial action.

Education Minister Paul Givan during his visit to  Gaelscoil Aodha Rua who made  his first visit to an Irish language school as Minister.
Education Minister Paul Givan during his visit to Gaelscoil Aodha Rua last week. PICTURE COLM LENAGHAN

Newly qualified teachers in Northern Ireland could see their starting salary increase by 24% under a pay offer outlined by education minister Paul Givan.

The proposed settlement will see new teachers in the north receive a starting salary of £30,000, while current teachers could also see their pay increase by 10%.

A long-running pay dispute has led to several days of strike action by teachers in recent months.

The five main teaching unions agreed last month that any further strikes would be postponed due to fresh negotiations.

Former first minister Paul Givan. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA
Education minister Paul Givan. PICTURE: LIAM MCBURNEY/PA

On Monday, Mr Givan outlined a formal offer on teachers’ pay for 2021, 2022 and 2023 to the unions.

The proposed settlement will see the starting salary for teachers in Northern Ireland rise to £30,000, equating to a 24.3% increase from the current starting salary and brings the starting point equal to England.

The Department of Education also said the pay offer is a cumulative total of 10.4% plus £1,000 being applied to the other teachers’ and leadership pay scales.

Mr Givan said: “I am pleased that there has been significant progress on the issue of the teachers’ pay with a formal offer being made to the teaching unions.

“This offer, which equates to a 24.3% pay rise for beginning teachers, will help both attract and retain the best teachers to our schools.

Teachers in Northern Ireland took part in strike action earlier this year over pay and conditions
Teachers in Northern Ireland took part in strike action earlier this year over pay and conditions

“It is unacceptable that teachers have been waiting three years for a pay increase.

“I have made it clear that my highest priority is to ensure that the teaching profession is paid at a rate which recognises the value of their profession.

“This is a positive step in that direction, and I commend the positive negotiations that have taken place within the Teachers’ Negotiating Committee (TNC) which consists of management and the trade unions representing teachers and school leaders.”

Mr Givan urged teachers and school leaders to consider the formal offer, adding if accepted and implemented, it will “bring an end to all industrial action which has been ongoing since May 2022”.

“The ending of the industrial action will create the opportunity to stabilise our education system and allow us to build upon this towards the delivery of world class education in Northern Ireland.”

The five teaching unions which make up the Northern Ireland Teaching Council (NITC) are set to consult with members, with a view to responding to the offer by March 26.

 Jacquie White from the UTU. Picture by Kevin Cooper
Jacquie White from the UTU. PICTURE: KEVIN COOPER

Jacquie White from the UTU said: “This pay offer, coming at the end of three years of inactivity, is greatly welcomed.

“It represents a significant step forward in the restoration of salary, a step which has been delivered by our members across the profession standing together for what they deserve.”

Justin McCamphill of the NASUWT said the pay offer had “come about as a result of teachers and school leaders standing together on the picket line and resolutely following action short of strike action”.