School Strike Looming - Again

A trade union is to begin consulting its members on resuming strike action by classroom assistants.

The Nipsa union has rejected a pay offer following weeks of discussion with employers.

Education Minister Caitriona Ruane said she was extremely disappointed no agreement had been reached.

There seems to be little prospect of a settlement in the long-running Northern Ireland classroom assistants' dispute.

Talks at the Labour Relations Agency in Belfast ended without agreement yesterday and despite two weeks of negotiations there appears to have been little progress in the pay and job evaluation dispute.

Nipsa has already said that unless its demands over job evaluations are met it will call more than 2,000 of its classroom assistant members out again.

Earlier this month 10 days of strike action closed more than half of special schools in Northern Ireland.


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01 October 2007
Classroom Assistants' Pay Offer Rejected
A three-day strike by classroom assistants is set to go ahead as unions reject the latest pay offer. The main trade union representing classroom assistants has rejected the latest offer from Education and Library Boards to resolve the long running dispute over pay and grading.
25 September 2007
Ruane Acts In Classroom Assistants' Dispute
Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, told the Assembly yesterday that she will intervene in the classroom assistants’ dispute. A one-day strike is planned to take place on Wednesday, followed by more in coming weeks if agreement over pay is not reached.
20 September 2007
Classroom Assistants To Strike
Classroom assistants across Northern Ireland are planning a one-day strike if negotiations are not reached over pay. The strike is planned to take place next Wednesday, 26 September, followed by more in the following weeks, if the situation is not resolved.
08 October 2007
Classroom Assistants Begin Strike
Around 3,000 classroom assistants who are members of the public service union NIPSA began an all-out strike today. They have said they will not return to work until a new offer is made by employers, and the strike is likely to cause disruption in hundreds of schools.
28 September 2007
Fresh Talks To Resolve Classroom Assistants Dispute
Employers and trade unions will enter into new talks today in an attempt to break the deadlock over classroom assistants' pay. Thousands of assistants marched through Belfast on Wednesday as part of a day of strike action over pay.