Strike action a symptom of political failure in our education system, says Egan

Alliance Education spokesperson Connie Egan MLA has been reacting to the news that five teaching unions in Northern Ireland have voted in favour of strike action, to take place on 26th April 2023.

Education Connie Egan

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has joined the four other teaching unions in backing the strike that is likely to result in the closing of most schools in Northern Ireland.
Speaking after the announcement, Connie Egan MLA stated that it was “no great surprise” that teachers and school leaders will be taking strike action. She noted that disappointingly limited progress had been made in remedying the situation of teachers and school staff following widespread strike action on 21st February 2023.
The North Down MLA continued: “These strikes have come about as a result of teachers being undervalued and underpaid for the crucial role they play in our society. We all know the immeasurable impact and influence teachers have on our children and young people, and it’s only right that this is recognised through fair pay.”
“Alliance supported the unions' recent campaign for fair pay in education because we need to ensure teachers are properly valued for playing such a key role in society. Head teachers joining the strike action highlights the significant pressure that they are facing in managing extraordinarily tight budgets under severe financial pressure.
“The financial uncertainty they face is a direct consequence of having no Executive or local Education Minister to support our schools. A restored Executive would not solve every problem within our education system, but without the institutions back up and running, no progress at all can be made in dealing with the myriad of crises facing schools."
"We urgently need a negotiated solution which reflects the important work of teachers and school leaders. The fact that the overwhelming majority of people dedicated to the Education of our children feel they have no other choice but to strike should sound the alarm for everyone responsible for the governance of our education system and get every MLA back to the Assembly."
"With strike action by almost every teacher in Northern Ireland now looming, the crisis in education gets worse by the day. It seems as though there is a new crisis within our education system on a weekly basis and it is totally unacceptable. It’s time for the DUP to accept our children deserve better, end their deadlock and get back to Stormont to get an Education Minister into office to deal with it."