Mathison says non-teaching staff industrial action is yet another reason to restore Executive

Alliance Education spokesperson Nick Mathison MLA has said impending industrial action from non-teaching staff at schools is yet another reason to restore the political institutions immediately.

Education Nick Mathison Education Authority

The Strangford MLA was speaking as the Education Authority (EA) confirmed the staff will take industrial action short of strikes from Monday (October 16) before taking strike action on November 16.

“I am fully supportive of the action being taken by the unions on behalf of non-teaching staff,” said Mr Mathison.

“The people taking action are essential members of the school community and work hard, despite often being on the lower end of the pay scales. The cost of living crisis will be hitting them hard, particularly as we move into the winter months.

“I urge the both sides of this dispute – the unions and the EA – to engage urgently in a bid to resolve the matter, especially as the action will impact children and young people. Parents are going to rightly be worried about how their children will be affected, with issues such as transport and school meals involved. If schools decide to close due to the action, parents may have to consider extra childcare. I will therefore be contacting the EA immediately so it can outline how the disruption will be mitigated and minimised.

“There is no doubt the lack of political institutions has helped lead to this situation – while the EA’s budget is stretched to breaking point, no Minister and no ability to set a strategic budget will have worsened the matter.

“If this does not shock those who are preventing the institutions returning into restoring the Assembly and Executive, it’s hard to imagine just what will. This impending industrial action is yet another reason why that needs to happen immediately.”