7-Day Strike at Glenveagh School in Belfast

7 day strike at glenveagh school in belfast

7 day strike at glenveagh school in belfast

Due to a Unite union strike, a special school in Belfast will be closed to students for one week.

Parents have been informed in writing by Glenveagh School that their children will not be attending from Thursday, June 15, through Sunday, June 23, due to illness.

There will be a strike by about 700 Unite employees who work for the Education Authority (EA).

They are taking action because, according to them, a review that would have resulted in “significant increases” in pay was not implemented.

Schools have been informed by the EA that some bus services and meal delivery will also be impacted by the strike.

The school has written to parents to inform them that students won’t be able to attend for a week “because of the degree of staffing deficiency and associated risks” as the majority of Glenveagh’s classroom assistants are scheduled to go on strike.

The letter stated, “We understand that this is difficult for students and families.”

“We will, of course, immediately resume face-to-face instruction if the situation is resolved at any point,” the statement continued.

Between the ages of eight and nineteen, students with severe and profound learning disabilities attend Glenveagh School.

Additionally, the school had to close due to a prior Unite strike in March 2022.

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Some parents at the time offered to stay in the building so that their children could return to class.

In response to the most recent potential closure, one parent told News sources that they were “dreading what will happen next week.”

In 2022, Unite members went on strike in protest of a 1.75 percent pay offer from the local government.

Payback budget

More than 90% of Unite’s members in the EA voted in favour of strike action, the organisation said in a statement announcing the most recent action.

“Unite’s membership includes school bus drivers, escorts and maintenance workers, catering staff, classroom assistants, playground supervisors, school administrative staff, cleaners, building supervisors and ground maintenance staff,” the statement read.

“The vote was held in response to the Department of Education’s refusal to provide funding for a pay-and-grading review that Unite the union had agreed to participate in at the invitation of the Education Authority.

“The review came to an agreement on a business case that would result in significant pay increases for Education Authority employees.

“However, it has not been implemented since it was submitted to the Department of Education by the Education Authority, primarily because of the harsh budget that the secretary of state for Northern Ireland set for the department.”

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham criticised Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris for allocating “a completely inadequate budget for Northern Ireland’s public services” in the statement.

This year, the funding allocated to schools for each student was frozen while the budget for education was reduced.

The EA informed school administrators of the strike in a letter, noting that while taxis, private hire buses, and Translink services would not be impacted, some authority-run buses would.

During the time of the strike, “we anticipate disruption to EA [yellow] bus services across the network,” the letter stated.

“Catering staff may participate in the action,” it continued. “As a result, some students in localised areas may not have access to meals.”

In order to limit the disruption to our children and young people as much as possible, the EA added that it was “continuing to engage with Unite the Union to seek exemptions from the latest strike action.”

The EA did not, however, provide specifics regarding the exemptions it had requested.

About Freelance writer

As a passionate freelance writer, I delve into the intricacies of human rights, work-life balance, and labour rights to illuminate the often overlooked aspects of our societal fabric. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to social justice, I navigate the complexities of these crucial topics, aiming to foster awareness and inspire change.

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