Disruption for schools as strike action starts today

SCHOOLS across Fermanagh are set for a week-long disruption as members of the trade union Unite voted to strike.
The industrial action will begin today, Thursday, June 15 and will end on Friday, June 23.
Unite members working as school bus drivers, escorts and maintenance workers, catering staff, classroom assistants, playground supervisors, school administrative staff, cleaners, building supervisors and ground maintenance staff will be on strike.
A ballot was held amongst Education Authority staff who are Unite members and 94 per cent voted for strike action with 96 per cent voting for action short of strike action.
The ballot was taken in response to the failure of the Department of Education to fund a pay and grading review in which Unite had engaged at the invitation of the Education Authority (EA) where a consensus was reached that EA workers would see a pay increase.
However, when it was submitted to the Department of Education, it was not been implemented due to the budget set for the Department by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
Kieran Ellison, Unite’s Regional Officer for union members employed with the Education Authority said: “The fact that 94 per cent of Education Authority workers voted for strike action confirms the strength of feeling within our membership.
“We are not going to accept more of the same. Unite has notified the employer (Education Authority) of our intention to initiate seven days of strike action.
“Responsibility for the heavy impact that this strike will have resides squarely at the feet of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris who must now review his punitive budget and deliver for the education authority workforce.”
The General Secretary of Unite, Sharon Graham, challenged the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to provide funding to redress the low pay of education workers.
She added: “Chris Heaton-Harris has set a completely inadequate budget for Northern Ireland’s public services. He has left education workers with no alternative but to strike to defend themselves.
“It is totally unacceptable that a pay and grading review will be denied to Unite the union members.”
Both the Secretary of State and the Education Authority have been approached for comment.

To read more.. Subscribe to current edition

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA