Public sector pay restraint has resulted in deep cuts to teachers’ pay, new figures released today by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in Northern Ireland show.

An analysis of the loss in real terms of gross pay for teachers in Northern Ireland shows teachers are thousands of pounds out of pocket compared to what they would have earned had their pay kept up with inflation.

The figures are released as teachers debate the issue of pay at the NASUWT Northern Ireland Annual Conference, being held in Derry.

Teachers have been subject to a two-year pay freeze since September 2010 and will face a further two-year cap of an average of 1% on future pay awards for 2013-15.

The NASUWT analysis shows that teacher in their first year of teaching is £2,699 worse off, a teacher with six years’ experience is over £3,500 worse off and more experienced teachers are around £4,500 worse off.

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary said:

“Hard-working teachers in Northern Ireland have effectively had their pay cut by thousands of pounds as a result of this unjustified assault on their pay.

“These cuts have been compounded by year on year imposed increases in pension contributions and rises in the cost of living.

“To expect teachers and other public sector workers to continue to deliver year on year high quality public services while their pay, pensions, working conditions and jobs are under attack is unacceptable.

“Children and young people are entitled to be taught by those who are recognised and rewarded as highly skilled professionals.  Recruitment and retention of teachers is seriously under threat if these attacks continue.”

Karen Sims Northern Ireland Organiser said

“It is disappointing that the Education Minister and the Northern Ireland Executive have slavishly followed the ideological agenda of the Coaltion Government in Westiminster.

“Teachers in Northern Ireland cannot afford to lose any more of their income.”

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