As the Belfast Telegraph reports, the Northern Ireland Executive Education Minister, Sinn Féin’s Caitríona Ruane, could be heading for a confrontation with Nipsa who are balloting their members on strike action after talks broke down on a new pay deal for classroom assistants. [pdf file] The Minister had approved an offer from the Education Boards on 31 May, but Nipsa members rejected that offer in June and despite further meetings between the two sides no new offer has been made.From the Nipsa statement [pdf file]
Following the 14 consultation meetings held by NIPSA towards the end of June Classroom Assistants clearly indicated to NIPSA that unless there were significant improvements in the offer they wished to be balloted on strike action commencing as early as possible in the Autumn Term. NIPSA’s Education and Library Board Panel and Classroom Assistant Representatives met last week and agreed to commence the statutory balloting process. This process commenced last Friday with the issuing of statutory notices to the 5 Education & Library Boards. The ballot for Classroom Assistants will commence on Monday 20th August 2007 and close at 12.00 noon on Monday 10th September 2007.
Please ensure you cast your vote and VOTE YES for strike action.
The Education & Library Board Panel carefully considered the views of members and has confirmed that the strike action intended will be a rolling programme of action – moving to ALL OUT STRIKE.
The Management Side of the 5 Education & Library Boards can avert this action by putting a realistic, acceptable and fair offer to NIPSA. If an improved offer is secured then this will be communicated to members immediately.