Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Striking lecturers dispute to be debated in Assembly

17 June, 2007

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson, Lagan Valley MLA Paul Butler says he fears that unless the college lecturer's dispute is resolved quickly there will be an escalation of industrial action.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's Assembly Mr Butler, who put down the motion, said:

"At a time when we are seeing significant and far reaching changes in the Further Education sector this ongoing dispute, if it is not resolved, will have an impact on lecturers morale and the delivery of a first class education service.

"I hope the Assembly will back College lecturers in their demands for pay parity with school teachers and that the Stormont executive will take action to settle the dispute.

"Central to this dispute is the issue of college lecturers pay increases being decided by British Treasury and its public sector pay policy. This policy has prevented college lecturers being paid similar pay scales to those teachers in the post primary education sector, whose pay scales are not linked to the Treasury's public sector pay policy.

"Sinn Féin fully support the University and College Union (UCU) in their campaign to achieve pay parity for college lecturers with school teachers. It is clear that lecturers are becoming increasing alienated.

"The Further Education sector faces massive restructuring and needs the goodwill of its teachers. Sinn Féin want to see college lecturers secure their due entitlements. College lecturers deserve better career structures and financial remuneration. College lecturers want more than sympathy from the Minister. They want a fair and just settlement.

"There is an increasing recognition of the important role of Further Education in delivering a broad and balanced educational curriculum. The Department for Employment and Learning must appreciate those lecturers and teachers who deliver this education. However, they must now make efforts in conjunction with Peter Robinson who is has responsibility for finance to come up with a solution to this long running dispute. They need to move decisively on finding a lasting settlement to this dispute." ENDS

Note to Editors

Assembly Motion:

That this assembly supports the campaign of Further Education lecturers for pay parity with teachers in schools. The Assembly also calls for an end to Further Education lecturer's pay levels being decided by the British Government's Public Sector Pay Policy.

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