NIPSA, the largest union from the non-teaching workforce in Education, announces that members employed as Education Welfare Officers will embark on 15 days of strike action commencing on 29 November. This is part of their campaign for pay parity with Health and Social Care Trust colleagues.

Alan Law, Assistant Secretary (Acting), commenting on the planned strike action added:

“NIPSA members commenced action short of strike action in May. This has been escalating gradually over recent months but the patience of our members has been exhausted. The Education Authority have failed to address our concerns and has continually failed to deliver on commitments, members had expected to begin formal consultation on draft Job Descriptions in October but this agreement by the employer has failed to materialise.

We are simply not prepared to be humiliated into begging the employer for a pay settlement which is justly due to our Social Worker members employed as Education Welfare Officers. The Education Authority will now be faced with 15 days of strike action commencing on 29 November, including an extensive range of other industrial action, which should leave no-one in any doubt to the determination of our members and their union to fight this pay claim.

The attitude to date by the employer has been disgraceful and will not be allowed to continue. The challenges presented by our industrial action are entirely the responsibility of the Education Authority. We believe that this can be avoided by earnest and constructive negotiations are the earliest opportunity.”