Northern Ireland classroom assistants

MEMBERS OF the Nipsa union who have been on strike for 16 days fighting for a decent pay deal for Northern Ireland’s classroom assistants returned to work on 4 December. The joint negotiating committee between the employers and the unions had reached an agreement on 30 November which forces changes in terms and conditions on the workers, against the wishes of the majority.

Nipsa represents the majority of assistants but two of the other unions involved – GMB and Unison – voted for the deal and Unite abstained.

The Nipsa members met over the weekend and agreed to strike in protest on 3 December and to organise a protest rally outside Stormont on the same day. The Nipsa members are particularly angry that they were prevented from balloting on the deal by the joint negotiating committee’s decision.