Planned strikes by support staff across schools in Northern Ireland suspended

Planned strikes by support staff across schools in Northern Ireland suspended

PLANNED strikes by non-teaching staff at schools across Northern Ireland will not go ahead as planned this week.

The NIPSA and GMB unions have agreed to suspend strikes they had planned for June 3 and 4 to allow for further discussion on resolving an ongoing pay and grading dispute.

“Trade unions met with representatives of the Department of Education and the Education Authority on May 31, in those discussions the representatives of the DOE indicated that they are willing to engage in meaningful negotiations to resolve the pay and grading review dispute,” NIPSA said in a statement.

“As a result GMB and NIPSA will suspend strike action on June 3 and 4,” they confirmed.

Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA) have called off their planned strike

“All trade unions have, however, clearly stated that action short of strike action will remain in place and that they will return to strike action if negotiations are not concluded in good faith and in a timely fashion,” they added.

“This temporary suspension of strike action provides an opportunity to test the commitment of the NI Assembly Executive to resolve this long running injustice.”

Unite the Union has agreed to suspend its planned strike action for tomorrow only, pending further negotiations.

Currently it still plans for its members to strike on Tuesday, June 4.

Northern Ireland’s Education Minister Paul Givan has welcomed the “positive development that unions have agreed to suspend strike action next week to allow for intense negotiation aimed at finding a resolution to the ongoing pay and grading dispute”.

“This means importantly, that it will now be possible for many schools planning to close on Monday and Tuesday to open as normal,” he said.

“I fully acknowledge the exceptional role played by support staff right across the education sector,” he added.

“Without their outstanding dedication and hard work, those who are most dependent on the services they provide, would not receive the vital support they need and deserve.

“I am committed to working with the unions to find a resolution and remain confident that progress can be made.

“I will work with Executive colleagues to ensure that is the result.”