Disappointing to see non-teaching staff overlooked, says Mathison after resources not found for pay and grading review

Alliance Party Education Spokesperson Nick Mathison has expressed disappointment as the resources required for the pay and grading review for non-teaching staff haven't been provided.

Education Nick Mathison Special Educational Needs

Speaking following
 the budget announcement, the Strangford MLA said: "It is extremely disappointing that the money required to resource the pay and grading review for non-teaching staff hasn't been made available."
"After the business case was only recently approved by the minister, staff and trade unions were understandably hopeful that issues affecting educational support staff would be resolved soon. This is a critical element in stabilising the education system and reforming Special Educational Needs services. This intervention is also crucial in tackling the workforce crisis and addressing the unacceptable terms and conditions for non-teaching staff. Every party had agreed that without this intervention a genuine crisis in the operation of our education system was on the horizon.
"It is therefore very difficult to understand how the Finance Minister has not allocated the necessary resources to this vital intervention - this is an unavoidable pressure impacting every school in Northern Ireland, and special schools in particular. It is unclear how the decision was made that the minister had no mechanism to fund this work.
"It is also evident that the Education Minister must reassess his priorities. From day one he has been clear about his intention to secure £150m for the Strule project without an approved business case, future funding commitments, or a published report on its educational or reconciliation benefits. Alliance has strongly advocated for this money to be invested in Integrated Education projects. However, it appears that even when faced with the possibility of not delivering the crucial pay and grading review, the Education Minister has other priorities.
"We need to see this issue urgently resolved and non-teaching staff given the fair pay they deserve. This is the only way to put an end to any further industrial action and to address the disproportionate impact this has on our special schools."