- 2019 Local Government Service Group Conference
- 22 February 2019
UNISON in Northern Ireland represents thousands of workers in the education sector and plays a leading role at the regional bargaining tables on behalf of our members.
These workers are the cooks, the cleaners, the maintenance and admin staff who are the backbone of the further education, primary and secondary school support services. Together with the thousands of classroom assistants in UNISON they are a vital a part of our growing membership in the education sector.
On the bargaining front we have taken advantage of the opportunities in the NJC pay deal to secure commitment from the education authority covering schools to a pay and grading review with the aim of enhancing pay progression .
We have welcomed the involvement of our HQ colleagues in the upskilling of our lay bargainers in job evaluation.
We have also committed to prioritising a challenge to the undermining of terms and conditions of our special needs classroom assistant membership. School employers are altering and lowering pay levels by allocating lower pay rates for hours spent outside the classroom. Heretofore the rate of pay is contractually the same for all hours in post. As school budgets for special needs school staff resources have remained stagnant and therefore stretched to meet a growing demand, it is the classroom assistants who have felt the pinch.
Conference notes that UNISON is challenging this and that a special review with the education authority is now underway.
Conference also notes that our regional negotiating team has warned that failure to resolve this issue will be grounds for a trade dispute.
Conference therefore calls on the SGE to:
1)Support this challenge, and to
2)Discuss practical ways in which members can be supported.