New education authority launched in Northern Ireland

Authority responsible for education, youth and library services

In April 2015 a new education authority in Northern Ireland replaced the five Education and Library Boards and the Staff Commission for Education and Library Boards. The authority has responsibility for education, youth and library services throughout Northern Ireland with a headquarters and five regional offices. 

UNISON Northern Ireland branches attended many meetings in relation to the transfer from the Education and Library Board to the Education Authority. We were successful in ensuring that all UNISON members transferred to a new employer on the exact same contracts, terms and conditions, and job security.

Offer is an act of desperation

UNISON criticised the announcement by the authority in June that they would ‘offer’ their staff two months unpaid leave during the summer.

Anne Speed, UNISON head of bargaining in Northern Ireland said: “This offer is one of desperation and has been made with no prior consultation with the trade unions.

“The current cuts in education have made it difficult for our school services to run effectively. To make this offer to our low-paid members to take two months unpaid leave to try to cover up the huge gaps in the budget is totally unacceptable.

“Our members rely on their wages during the summer to make ends meet; they do not have the option of taking unpaid leave. This clearly demonstrates the fact that the money coming from Westminster is not adequate to run our public services in Northern Ireland.”