Northern Ireland

Teachers pay: Discussions expected next week after unions vote to accept pay offer

Pay proposal was announced by education minister Paul Givan earlier this month

Teachers at schools took part in a half-day strike in February, while there was a full day of strike action in schools and further education colleges in April (PA)
Teachers have been involved in a long-running pay dispute. PICTURE: PA

Discussions are due to take place next week after the five main teaching unions voted to accept a pay offer amid a long-running campaign.

The five constituent members of the Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council (NITC) are expected to meet with management on Tuesday with the aim of “implementing the deal”.

All five unions confirmed they had accepted the pay proposal announced by education minister Paul Givan earlier this month.

The DUP's Paul Givan was appointed education minister in February 2024
Education minister Paul Givan. PICTURE: LIAM MCBURNEY (PA)

The 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.

Earlier this week, the NASUWT confirmed members had voted to accept the offer, while the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) later said “a significant majority” had indicated they backed the proposal.

Caoimhin MacColaim from the INTO said: “While the offer is not perfect, it represents a significant and much needed increase in pay for all teachers and school leaders, during a time of great financial pressure”.

The National Education Union (NEU) said 89% of its members that took part in a pay ballot had accepted it.

Mark Langhammer, joint regional secretary, said: “It is a crucial step towards safeguarding the status of teaching as a respected and valued profession for graduates”.

The Ulster Teachers’ Union also voted overwhelmingly to back the deal, but general secretary Jacquie White described the three-year fight was “a disgrace”.

Dr Graham Gault from the NAHT said its members had accept this offer, which “marks a welcome step towards proper pay restoration”.