ALL FIVE of the North's teacher's unions have formally agreed to a backdated pay offer for the years 2021 to 2023. The new offer will also increase starting salaries and bring pay up to par with England.

The pay settlement agreed by the Teachers’ Negotiating Committee (TNC) includes a rise in the starting salary for teachers in the North to £30,000.

The Department of Education said this was a 24.3 per cent increase from the current starting salary and brings the starting pay level with England.

Education Minister Paul Givan said: “I am pleased that the five trade unions which make up the Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council have formally accepted a pay offer today on behalf of their members. This settlement will see the end to all industrial action by teachers and school leaders which has been ongoing since May 2022.”

Caoimhín Mac Colaim, Chairperson of INTO Northern Committee said: “While the offer is not perfect, it represents a significant uplift in pay for all teachers and school leaders.”

Mark McTaggart, INTO Northern Secretary, said the offer represents a step towards pay restoration. “This offer has come about as a result of the determined and resolute action of our teachers and school leaders through 18 months of solid industrial action, and it represents a step towards pay restoration for teachers and school leaders pay going forward. The NITC will continue to work together for full pay restoration, beginning with renewed negotiation around a pay settlement for the year beginning September 2024.”

Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Pat Sheehan MLA said the announcement represented significant progress for teachers in terms of pay.

“I welcome the announcement that teaching unions have accepted the recent pay offer from the Department of Education," he said.

“Our teachers, like all our public sector workers, deserve fair pay and conditions, and this offer represents significant progress in delivering this.

“I also want to commend the Finance Minister who worked at speed to prioritise public sector pay.

“The Education Minister must now prioritise delivering fair pay and conditions to our hardworking support staff across our education system.”