“It is very clear that the members we represent are not prepared to accept the offer..”

The GMB union were first to accept the terms and conditions of the offer to the classroom assistants and now Unison has joined them. The smallest union involved, T and G Unite, were split 50/50 on strike action, but have not accepted the offer. Neither have NIPSA whose strike action continues. NIPSA General Secretary, John Corey, has also reiterated the union’s position. [pdf file]

“The Minister and the Education Boards are badly mistaken if they think that the 3000 plus Classroom Assistants represented by NIPSA will stop this campaign without an acceptable resolution. If the Minister wants the dispute resolved urgently so that schools can return to normal, the Minister should be meeting immediately with NIPSA to discuss how that can be achieved.”

Responding to the announcement that the members of a second trade union had voted to accept the employers’ offer Mr Corey insisted that NIPSA would continue to strongly oppose any attempts by the employers to implement fundamental changes to Classroom Assistants’ contracts of employment. Mr Corey said

“NIPSA is the lead trade union in Education Boards and represents more than 3000 of all Classroom Assistants employed by the Boards. The fact that two other trade unions representing far less Classroom Assistants are saying they would accept the offer does not alter our position. If there are any disputes about the respective memberships the Irish Congress of Trade Unions will have to step in and validate the position.

NIPSA Classroom Assistants have already taken 14 days of resolute strike action. It is very clear that the members we represent are not prepared to accept the offer and the
employers cannot ignore that fact. NIPSA will not be standing by and allowing employers to impose detrimental changes to our members’ conditions of employment.”

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  • interested

    Nipsa…. hmm…. now what to say…

    Oh yes, that’s right. “GET BACK TO WORK!”

  • Alex S

    NIPSA have lost.

  • Sean Og

    the plot.

  • harry

    yes, NIPSA should stop challenging the SF minister. or they will end up in a hayshed in monaghan

  • patrique

    NIPSA haven’t gone away you know.

    Did the 6 assistants in the GMB really accept the offer?

    This could yet be another long war.

  • bumper

    Said at the outset that the donkeys leading NIPSA would lead the classroom assistants down a blind alley-sorry to say I was right.

  • Outstanding in my field

    Everything about this is tragic – no one should be gloating.

  • patrique

    Bumper, you spelt Unison wrong in your post.

  • bumper

    Pompous Patrique is typical NIPSA-laughing up his own sleeve at his scintillating wit whilst the classsroom assistants are left up shit creek-nice one, pal

  • patrique

    Left up shit street by the likes of you, Bumper, who would rather see children go uneducated than pay people to do it. NIPSA are still behind them, and many other people who can think.

    Think of all the things governments waste their/our money on, and then think of disabled children at special schools.

    But I suppose you, Bumper, would be asking “are these disabled children a viable economic prospect?”

    The love of money and all that ………

  • bumper

    ‘and then think of disabled children at special schools.’

    Yeah think of them indeed Patrique and the way that they have been callously and regularly abandoned by the NIPSA classroom asistants who are too greedy to accept an offer already agreed by the other unions-the love of money and all that….

  • interested

    “who would rather see children go uneducated than pay people to do it. NIPSA are still behind them, and many other people who can think.”

    Sorry, I wasn’t aware the teachers were out on strike….. they’re the ones who educate.

    If the classroom assistants were such educators then they might have managed to get the sum written on their placards at Stormont correct. Frankly if they can’t add then they’re better off away from the children.

  • runciter

    Given the number of party stooges on this thread, it’s pretty obvious SF are very worried about this.

    They’d be in a much stronger position if they just told Ruane grow a backbone and stand up to her department.

    She looks very weak beside Ritchie right now.

  • patrique

    Obviously “Interested” you haven’t been inside a school in about 40 years. “Teachers’ educating people”, you are having a laugh.

    And please stop saying the other unionS, it is the other union. That is a bit like asking Ruane to accept the will of the other governmentS, you know, the alliance government who represent so many people, and the PUP government who represent so many others.

    I am well aware that the Government are holding these special needs children, and indeed all children, to ransom, and I am indebted to Bumper for reminding us of that fact.

    I realise that governments cannot cure all ills, but this dispute has been going on for 12 years, and now the assistants are being asked to accept a short term fix. Now Peter Robinson may worship short term fixes, but the rest of us have to be realistic, because we will suffer the consequences in 20 years time, when Peter has gone. Ruane is not in a position to save the world, but she is in a position to see justice done in this case. Her Thatcher like propaganda about ballots merely treats the electorate with contempt.