- 2019 Local Government Service Group Conference
- 22 February 2019
UNISON Northern Ireland is pressing for greater transparency in the Education Funding Formula. The funding of education in our region is as complex as the governance arrangements. The total amount to be spent on schools is called general schools budget and is made up of three categories of spending:
1)The aggregated school budget available to individual schools;
2)Resources held at centre (payment of additional resources in teaching);
3)Centrally held resources attributable to schools (home to school transport and school meals).
It is of great concern that the education authority has reported a funding shortfall of £58 million for 2018/19. They are warning that the funding gap could grow to £350 million for 2019/20. UNISON’s policy is to demand sustainable funding for schools and that the Barnett Consequentials be properly allocated to ensure the funding resource required is available.
Conference notes that in these circumstances the pressure on schools to make cuts is immense and we are very concerned that our membership in support services are vulnerable to these cuts. While a review of the cleaning and school meals service are in play we have managed to date to hold off any privatisation threats.
Conference also notes that a further consequence of the financial pressures is the reduction in funding of additional measures to improve the nutritional quality of the schools meals service. UNISON is challenging this shift in policy and our Regional Council has decided to prioritise a focus on school meals.
The consequences at the bargaining table are that we must remain vigilant and protect our members jobs, terms and conditions.
Conference calls on the service group executive to:
Support our education membership in their campaigning and bargaining strategies in the education sector.