McCarthy urges Education Minister to act on pay deal

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McCarthy urges Education Minister to act on pay deal

South Belfast Ulster Unionist Party Representative, Stephen McCarthy, has written to the Education Minister urging action on the pay deal at the heart of the current industrial action at local schools.

Stephen McCarthy said:

“First and foremost I want urgent action to minimise disruption and distress for pupils and their families.  That remains our priority, and I know that parents, schools, the department and those taking action share this priority. 

“The withdrawal of services as part of this industrial action should have been, and still can be avoided, if the Education Authority steps in urgently to negotiate a pay deal that recognises the financial pressures that their staff face. 

“A 1.75% pay rise when their salary has lagged massively behind inflation over the last decade, not to mention the skyrocketing cost of living at the moment, is simply an insult. We owe these workers more so that they can continue to provide an essential service for our children with special educational needs. 

“Some taking aim at the staff and the decision to strike are really missing the point.  The staff have a responsibility to do their jobs, but the legal responsibility for the service provided lies with the Education Authority.  It is time for them to step forward and end this strike with a pay deal that puts our public servants and children with special educational needs first.”