Northern Ireland news

Pay, workload and ventilation in schools among issues to be discussed at NASUWT conference

NASUWT general secretary Patrick Roach. Picture by Simon Boothe/NASUWT/PA Wire

PAY, workload and ventilation in schools will be among the issues due to be discussed at a teaching union conference in Belfast this weekend.

Also high up on the agenda at the NASUWT event will be the worsening industrial relations between the teaching workforce and the Department of Education and employers.

The annual conference, which takes place at Stormont Hotel tomorrow, will see members debate a wide range of issues facing the profession, particularly over the past two years during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Motions due to be discussed include issues affecting the pay and workload of members, teaching hours, curriculum reform, safety and the use and abuse of technology.

Debate on the motions will take place throughout the conference tomorrow, which took place virtually last year due to the pandemic.

NASUWT general secretary Dr Patrick Roach and the union's Northern Ireland president Shaunagh Lambe, a primary school teacher from St Mary's PS in Dunamore, will speak to delegates at the conference.

Dr Roach said it is time for ministers to listen to the concerns of union members and begin "investing in teachers".

"Our members have been working tirelessly to help children's educational recovery as the pandemic continues," he said.

"Amid the deep uncertainty teachers continue to support children and once again rise to the challenge.

"Day in, day out, they are rising to the challenge, putting themselves on the line to secure the future of Northern Ireland's children.

"Recruiting and retaining skilled and committed teachers, addressing the teacher morale crisis and improving the quality of teachers' working conditions are essential to delivering the best outcomes for all pupils.

"It is time for ministers to demonstrate that they are listening to the concerns of teachers by acting on our members' concerns and investing in teachers."

Justin McCamphill, NASUWT National Official for Northern Ireland, also said that "members from across Northern Ireland will be sharing their experiences of providing high-quality education under the continued sustained and enormous pressure during the pandemic".

"The profession has risen to the challenge and will face the future knowing they are a vital part of the recovery of society in Northern Ireland," he said.

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