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Alliance MLAs hit out at Education Authority after staff left without pay

Alliance MLAs have hit out at the Education Authority (EA) after substitute teachers were again left without pay.

 

The Northern Ireland Supply Teacher Register (NISTR) was launched in August but was hit with technical issues, followed by many supply teachers not being paid in September for work in August. Problems have continued into October, with many left without pay for September’s work.

 

Constituents including teacher Michael McCullough have reached out to Dr Patricia O’Lynn, Alliance MLA for North Antrim.



Praising the support he has received from Camphill Primary, Ballymena, where he has been working, Mr McCullough was clear that schools and teachers are not to blame.

 

Describing the rollout of the new system as “nothing short of catastrophic,” Mr McCullough expressed the extreme frustration felt by many teachers.

 

“Substitute teachers have been left struggling to pay their bills,” said Dr O’Lynn. “A phone line dedicated to helping has now been closed, compounding the problem, and email enquiries are not being responded to. This is disgraceful.”

 


“This instability is worsened by teachers’ inability to register as available for work, resulting in missed income. It is vital the EA sorts this situation and does so urgently.”

 

“While some seem to be pretending the cost of living crisis is not happening, the reality is substitute teachers are being left short at a time when prices are rising dramatically, increasing their vulnerability to the current crisis.”

 


“These teachers are vital to the running of our education system and must be paid for their work in a timely manner.”

 

“The Department of Education and the EA need to find solutions to these problems immediately and ensure substitute teachers are paid in full and don’t have to face this situation again.”