UNISON Northern Ireland



UNISON members across the whole Education Authority are joining picket lines on Thursday November 16th across hundreds of schools throughout Northern Ireland.  Thousands of UNISON members have decided to stand up and be counted. They have decided they have been waiting too long.  They want pay justice.

In 2019 discussions on pay reform were promised.  The Covid pandemic stalled movement.  Education workers understood that but efforts to get negotiations going have ground to a halt.   Members recognise there is some goodwill in the Education Authority to get this matter sorted.   But the EA continue to tell us there is no agreed funding to support negotiations.   The department of Education have been sitting on the fence.  Where is their voice in support of this just cause?  The Northern Ireland Secretary of State, now responsible for the Education budget should be told in no uncertain terms that asking workers to wait until an Executive and the Assembly returns is just not good enough.

The particular changes we want to see applied to the pay structure include:

A grading structure:

  • That standardises all grades with more than 4 points to a max of 4 points in length.
  • That removes overlaps between grades.
  • That consolidates admin and former ancillary and general grades into a single structure.
  • That restores the supervisor differential to an agree level and addresses recruitment challenges.
  • That assimilates to the new scales on the principle of next equal to or higher point.

All of these changes would combine to produce pay improvement.

UNISON members are also continuing action short of strike.  This means only working to agreed job description.

The extra effort that our members have given over and above their formal work will no longer be freely given. Our members feel they have been taken for granted for long enough.