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A letter confirming proposal from the Department for Education on the Pay and Grading Dispute has been received. 
Unions and their negotiators have agreed to recommend this proposal to our lay leaders and shop stewards. 
UNISON will then consult with all our affected members for their democratic endorsement.
We are all at the  UNISON conference until Tuesday next week. When we return we will convene an on line meeting for Tuesday morning of our Local Government Service group who will debate and decide what advice we will issue in the coming week to members.

Your UNISON Education negotiating team has been engaged in a round of talks alongside other trade unions with senior Education Department staff and the EA. These talks are still ongoing and will resume on Monday the 10th of June.

Both the Finance and the Education ministers have welcomed these talks and continue to encourage and support a resolution of our dispute.

There are positive developments, but some hurdles still remain. All sides are pressing for an outcome very soon.

UNISON, the largest union representing workers across health and social care in Northern Ireland, notes with serious concern the statement issued by the Chairs of six Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts in relation to the budget available for services. Commenting on the statement by the Chairs, UNISON Regional Secretary Patricia McKeown said:

‘‘This is an extremely worrying intervention by the Chairs that should provide a stark warning as to the damage that inadequate funding for essential services can do.

EDUCATION support service trade unions met with Department of Education and Education Authority at their request on Friday afternoon.

There was discussion on the changed circumstances created by the UK general election.

Joint Secretaries discussed at great length the presentation put to them and agreed the following as the basis for communication with members.

- There has been discussion around a pathway to resolution of the Pay and Grading dispute

- Joint Trade Union Secretaries believe engagement should happen on tripartite process.

UNISON’s Northern Ireland wide Industrial Action committee has pledged to continue its extensive action short of strike throughout the month of June.

Plans are also in place to make settlement of our pay and grading dispute an issue in the forthcoming July 4th election.

All Northern Ireland parties will be contesting seats in the Westminster parliament. Their candidates’ declared intention to convince voters they will represent the interests of people in Northern Ireland must be challenged. We are issuing that challenge to them.


Your Committee met on 22 May and agreed to consult members on the pay offer of a flat rate increase of £1,290 (pro rata for part-time and term time only workers), from 1 April 2024 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland). This consultation is open to all education workers who have a contractual commitment from their employer to implement NJC pay terms and conditions.

Council and school staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are worth far more than the “disappointing” pay increase they’ve been offered by employers, says UNISON today (Thursday).

The union in all 3 jurisdictions is to consult hundreds of thousands of our members on the annual cost of living pay offer made last week, with a recommendation they vote to reject it.

UNISON is calling for an improvement to pay that fairly rewards council and school staff, many of whom are in low-wage roles, for the essential services they provide.

UNISON members in their thousands will continue industrial action over coming days and weeks in schools and EA offices across Northern Ireland. They are also issuing a strong warning to the powers that be that their patience is running out.

Senior UNISON representative for Education and Local Government workers in Northern Ireland Catherine Mc Kenna stressed “we should not be taken for granted. The Minister asked for time to secure Treasury agreement to repurpose scheduled funds to deliver pay improvement.

A large number of claims were lodged several years ago with the Industrial Tribunal on behalf of UNISON members by our solicitors, Thompsons’ NI, against 5 Health Trusts on rates of pay for staff undertaking sleep-in shifts in residential facilities.

To all our members in:

- Education support services

- Controlled and Maintained schools 

- Integrated Schools 

- Voluntary Grammars 

- Irish language medium schools


Dear Members,