“Disputes can only be resolved by negotiations..”

The two weeks of negotiations spent explaining the Education Boards offer to the unions representing classroom assistants ended last week with no change in anyone’s position. Today the GMB union, as anticipated here, announced that their 1570 members had voted 4 to 1 to accept that offer. The problem for the boards, and the minister, is that NIPSA represent over 3000 classroom assistants and they remain opposed to the offer. This week NIPSA are due to give formal notice of a resumption of strike action [pdf file] on or after 12th November. But, as reported in Saturday’s Belfast Telegraph, NIPSA General secretary, John Corey, is also holding open the door to real negotiations. [pdf file]

“Disputes can only be resolved by negotiations. There is now the opportunity in the next week to avoid further disruption to schools by the employers engaging in serious negotiations. If the employers will not do that, we demand that Ministers must intervene immediately.”