Non-teaching staff cannot be overlooked, says Mathison as pay dispute continues

Alliance Party Education Spokesperson Nick Mathison has said non-teaching staff in our schools ‘cannot be overlooked’ as he emphasised the need to deliver their long overdue pay and grading review.

Nick Mathison

Mr Mathison was speaking following industrial action across public services in Northern Ireland, with non-teaching staff in a number of schools engaged in ongoing strike action in the coming weeks.

“Whilst last week saw industrial action take place across a number of our most vital public sectors, many non-teaching staff in our schools are still involved in industrial action regarding their Pay and Grading Review. These are essential members of the school community– they deserve fair pay and conditions which recognise their commitment and dedication to our children and young people,” he said.

“There is an urgent need for this review to be agreed and it is unacceptable that this has been delayed over a number of years since the creation of the EA. It is especially disappointing that the business case for this pay and grading review sat with the Department of Education for much of 2023 whilst ongoing industrial action continued to impact on our children and young people.

“Alliance has written to the Department of Finance which is currently assessing the pay and grading Business Case, seeking an urgent update on how soon it can be progressed. We also raised this issue with the UK Government during the talks process at the end of last year, stressing the importance of ensuring that non-teaching staff are not excluded from any sort of financial package.

“We must do all we can to avoid further industrial action from unions representing non-teaching staff in 2024, as we all understand the disproportionate impact this has on our special schools.

“Getting a democratically accountable Education Minister in post is now a pressing need, backed up by what must be a comprehensive offer from the Secretary of State to address public sector pay pressures.”