Press release from the Association of School and College Leaders in reference to the Chairman of the Management Side’s letter to all teachers in Northern Ireland

17 May 2017

On Friday 12 May, all teachers in Northern Ireland, including members of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), received a letter from Gavin Boyd, Chairman of the Management Side of the Teachers’ Negotiating Committee (TNC). ASCL welcomes communication from the TNC management side, the first since November 2016.

Robert Wilson, ASCL Regional Officer in Northern Ireland, said: “We have been encouraging the TNC management to communicate its position to all teachers and to provide them with regular updates in relation to the negotiations with the teachers’ unions.”

ASCL is pleased to note the TNC management side’s wish to see a resolution of the dispute, leading to, as it describes it, “a speedy return to the environment which has made many of our schools examples of educational excellence”. ASCL also welcomes the assurance that employers’ representatives are currently engaging with the teachers’ unions in a “positive and constructive manner on the key matters of pay and workload”.  

ASCL, which does not have representation on the Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council, urges both sides to continue with this dialogue in an atmosphere of trust and openness.

ASCL Northern Ireland has been proactive in identifying aspects of teachers’ jobs which are burdened by unnecessary bureaucracy which, if reduced, would, free them up to do what they do best; providing an excellent educational experience for our young people.  

Mr Wilson said: “Teachers in Northern Ireland provide an outstanding service, many going way beyond the call of duty. It is this which makes our teaching workforce the envy of many countries.” There is clearly an opportunity for the teachers’ unions to negotiate with the TNC management side in the context of a wider agreement and ASCL wishes both sides well.