NIPSA members employed as Education Welfare Officers by the Education Authority have been participating in Industrial Action since May. This in furtherance of a pay parity claim with Social Workers employed by the Health Service.

NIPSA members have decided to escalate the Industrial Action due to the continued intransigence of management.

Alan Law, Assistant Secretary, commented:

“Education Welfare Officers are dedicated, hard-working, professional Social Workers. They have been managing a very challenging period of Industrial Action to ensure that they continue to support the young people, carers and parents in their caseloads. The Education Authority committed to timeframes in relation to making progress with the resolution of the Industrial Action. These timeframes have now been abandoned by management.

NIPSA will now be escalating the Industrial Action, which will include additional Action short of strike action and Strike Action. NIPSA members are furious over the delays by the employer and have been on the receiving end of hostile and aggressive emails from line management. This completely unacceptable.

NIPSA members are determined to achieve pay parity and the employer needs to fully appreciate that the only route out of this dispute is to engage with NIPSA in an effective way as the current process of delays and prevarication will not resolve the dispute.”