,On the 21st of February 2023, the majority of teachers all across Northern Ireland went on a strike for a pay increase and better working conditions. At Dalriada Grammar School, Ballymoney, over thirty teachers stood outside their school at 9am this morning to make a stand and to be heard by the public.
Rachel Divin, an English teacher, was one of the many picketing this morning and claimed “I have been a teacher now for seven years and I just feel that this profession is really undervalued and we are fed a load of facts and figures of how the pay has decreased and the workload has increased”.
Mrs Divin professes that current teacher wages, do not reflect the professionalism of the career. She said that she “feels that in the profession, the pay does not match the workload. When I first started the pay was fair, however seven years down the line, the cost of living crisis went up, house prices went up, everything has gone up – except my pay”.
She believes that poor rates of pay deter young people from entering the profession. She claimed that “I think the fact that teachers aren’t able to climb the ladder prevents young graduates from considering teaching as a career. Whereas in places like England, they have reviews every couple of years and they can get pay progression; here it’s just a standard six points and then when you reach the top of it there isn’t really any progression unless you go for year head or head of department”.
“Teachers should be valued in society but unfortunately the profession has been under funded, under resourced and overworked for years that’s why it’s important for teachers to take a stand”.