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Sinn Féin join Classroom Assistant picket lines

26 September, 2007

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson, Lagan Valley MLA Paul Butler, speaking after joining a number of picket lines in his constituency in support of striking Classroom Assistants, has said Sinn Féin fully support the Classroom Assistants and that hopefully the interventions of the Education Minister and her call for 'new and creative' thinking will lead to a resolution of the long running dispute.

Mr Butler said:

"Across the north Sinn Féin representatives have been standing shoulder to shoulder with classroom assistants in supporting their demand for their jobs to be graded and remunerated properly.

"This dispute has been going on for far too long.

"I very much welcome the intervention of the Education Minister and the fact that we now see the Education Library Boards and the unions engaged in negotiations with the objective of delivering the full and proper recognition of the vital role of classroom assistants.

"The issue of job evaluation for classroom assistants is a long running dispute. It has been running for 12 years. The results have been felt not just by classroom assistants but also in the classroom. It has damaged morale among classroom assistants and clearly not been good for our children.

"Now that we have meaningful negotiations I hope that all involved stay committed to resolving the dispute. Sinn Féin has given its full support to the classroom assistants in their campaign for better pay and conditions." ENDS

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