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Butler calls on classroom assistants to reconsider industrial action

15 November, 2007

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Paul Butler MLA has said that the planned industrial action by classroom assistants is not in the best interests of children, parents or classroom assistants.

Mr Butler said:

"I do not believe that the planned industrial action by classroom assistants will achieve anything accept to create more hardship for children, parents and classroom assistants.

"The impact on our special schools and the most vulnerable children is unacceptable.

"There is no justification for industrial action at special needs schools under these circumstances. Yet Special Education Needs Schools were the only ones forced to close and are the only ones likely to be closed by further industrial action - and children with special education needs and their parents most affected. Other unions agreed to exempt special schools from industrial action - NIPSA has not.

"There is a much improved offer on the table and guarantees on pay protections. It addresses the key issues:

  • No classroom assistant will face a pay cut
  • No classroom assistant will have to work longer hours
  • The outstanding issues, including qualifications, will be addressed within the Ministerial Review already announced." ENDS


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