Teachers action starts to bite
Teachers across the North began a campaign of intense industrial action at the beginning of January. Falling short of strike action (a date for which is still to be agreed) teachers are now on a work to rule.
By Mary Cahillane,: INTO Executive (personal capacity)
In other words they teach their teaching hours and nothing else. The INTO which had a massive 84% in favour of industrial action and 74% in favour of strike action is leading the campaign to get teachers the £1,065 they are owed in backpay.
Teachers will also boycott statutory assessment at Key Stages 1,2 and 3. This boycott has also been recently voted on by the NUT in England.
The present campaign will have a severe effect on the Department of Education. It will not be able to compile statistics or comparative data from schools and will not be able to launch any new educational iniatives to further burden teachers with because the unions are boycotting them.
Teachers are also boycotting any involvement with CCEA, CASS or ELB's personnel or activities.
Within hours of the industrial action starting, the employers offered to go to arbitration. Arbitration is not in the teaching unions' interests and should be rejected out of hand unless £14 million is on the table.
£14 million is a drop in the ocean against the backdrop of the obscene amount of money spent on the Iraq War.
The £1,065 owed to each teacher is far less than the amount it will cost Princess Anne to send the corgi eating pit bull to anger management lessons. The money is there, it's a question of fighting for it.
The employers also complain that if the £14 million is found for teachers than this will have a knock-on effect on NIPSA's claims for a decent pay rise for civil servants.
There will be an attempt by the Government to play NIPSA and the teaching unions off against each other and this should be resisted by coordinated action.