NIPSA reacts to reports concerning lengthy waiting times to access Education Welfare Services.

NIPSA, the leading public sector Trade Union, representing over 8,000 members in the Education Sector, reacts to the news reports today concerning the lengthy waiting times for Education Welfare Services.

Alan Law, Assistant Secretary commented:

“NIPSA members employed as Education Welfare Officers have been engaged in a long running pay dispute with the Education Authority. The employer’s continual delaying tactics and refusal to engage in effective negotiations has significantly contributed to the lengthy waiting times for access to Education Welfare Services. The Education Authority has a statutory obligation to ensure children attend school, they are failing hundreds of children who are languishing on ever increasing waiting lists without the realistic prospect of seeing an EWO. The extent of these waiting times will exacerbate the problems these young people face and will seriously impact the education of the children and young people waiting for support.

NIPSA calls on the Department to put pressure on the EA to engage in effective negotiations to resolve the pay dispute. We would call on the Children’s Commissioner to commence an investigation into the failure to support vulnerable children and young people. The current situation is an abject failure of the Education Authority to discharge its responsibilities.”

Alan Law
Assistant Secretary