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Press Releases 2016

Northern Conference 2016: Press Release - Substitute Teachers' Entitlements Must Be Honoured

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Delegates assembled at the Northern Conference of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO), in the Hilton hotel, Templepatrick, today expressed anger that an agreement to pay substitute teachers’ sick pay from the 1st January 2016 is being frustrated by the Department of Education.

Mr Gerry Murphy, Northern Secretary of INTO, said,

“In January 2016, INTO entered in an agreement with the Employing Authorities and Department of Education (DE) that substitute teachers would be paid sick pay. Despite this our members report that DE are refusing now to honour this contractual requirement indicating that the current pay regulations pose a problem. This is an unacceptable state of affairs and delegates at this Conference are demanding that INTO moves to support such individuals with legal action if necessary.”

Mr Murphy continued,

“Substitute teachers’ rights have for too long been ignored. Presently over 100 individuals, employed as substitute teachers, are working in schools for over four years. These teachers are now entitled to confirmation as permanent teachers. Yet many of these individuals were never advised of their rights or how to assert them. As a result they have lost out in respect of sick pay, holiday pay, promotions and their professional development. This must end.”

Mr Murphy concluded,

Recently the focus has been on the Investing in Teaching proposals and the offer of up to 500 permanent teaching jobs. Hiding in the shadow of this announcement is the underlying issue of the employment rights of all substitute teachers. For too long substitute teachers have been regarded as the fill in. INTO is determined to stand up for the rights of substitute teachers. Where employers refuse to enact the rights of these workers then INTO will support these teachers with legal challenges if necessary.”

ENDS