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Teachers pay and conditions

In Northern Ireland agreement on teachers' pay and conditions of service is reached through the Teachers' Salaries and Conditions of Service Committee (Schools), Constitution PDF 66 KB which comprises the employing authorities/employer representatives, the Department of Education(DE) and the five recognised teachers' unions (Irish National Teachers' Organisation, National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers, Ulster Teachers' Union, Association of Teachers and Lecturers, and National Association of Headteachers).

Following negotiations, the Department determines teachers' pay in accordance with the provisions of Article 69 (1) and (6) of the Education and Libraries Order 1986.  In doing so it issues Pay Determinations/Circulars which give legal effect to salary changes.

Teachers' (Terms and Conditions of Employment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987 No. 267 (and Amendment Regulations 1988 No. 299) PDF 441 KB make provision as to the terms and conditions of employment of teachers in grant-aided schools and to peripatetic teachers. Other contractural changes, and agreed schemes and procedures, are normally issued by the employing authorities/employer representative bodies, and further advice on these issues is available directly from them.

Industrial Action

On 12 September 2012, the Chair of TNC Management Side wrote to Chairs of Board of Governors and issued guidance PDF 34 KB on ongoing industrial action by Teachers/Principals.

Independent Inquiry into Teachers' Pay and Conditions

In June 2002, the then Minister established an independent inquiry to make recommendations on the future arrangements for teachers' pay and conditions of service in Northern Ireland.  The Inquiry has produced the following three reports:

  1. Interim Report - Principal and Vice-principal pay PDF 1.14 MB published in November 2002, and accepted by the Teachers' Negotiating Committee.  
  2. Final Report Part 1- Parity,Performance and Progression PDF 99 KB published in June 2003, which, following agreement at the Teachers' Negotating Committee, resulted in the Performance Review and Staff Development (PRSD) Scheme PDF 120 KB which will inform pay progression for teachers, Principals and Vice-principals from September 2004 - now been updated with Performance Review and Staff Development (PRSD) Scheme - TNC 2009/10 PDF 234 KB.
  3. Final Report Part 2 - Improving Conditions, Raising Standards and Negotating Arrangements PDF 268 KB published in February 2004 and is currently being considered by the Teachers' Negotating Committee.

Conditions of Service Changes

The Employers produced Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Maternity Leave and Pay for Teachers PDF 27 KB in April 2011 Further queries on this issue should be addressed to them.

The Employers issued an addendum to the Career Break Scheme TNC 2010-2 Career Break Scheme Addendum PDF 21 KB on 4 August 2010 and Procedures for Handling Teacher Redundancies TNC 2010-1 PDF 45 KB and Guidelines PDF 29 KB on 20 January 2010 to all schools.

Pay Changes

Following discussions at Joint Working Party a letter issued to schools in June 2012 PDF 18 KB and amended wording to the Salary Policy PDF 23 KB regarding the award of Teaching Allowances to part time teachers.

Survey on Tackling Violence/Abuse Against Teachers in Schools

Employers issued a survey on Tackling Violence/Abuse Against Teachers in Schools PDF 61 KB to a random selection of teachers in May 2010. The results are being considered. Employers issued  TNC 2011/2 Policy Statement on Tackling Violence and Abusive Behaviour against Teachers PDF 61 KB.

Pay Scales

Circular 2011/17 Rate of Pay for Prematurely Retired Techers from 1 September 2011 PDF 700 KB issued to all schools on 19 August 2011.  It sets out a new rate of pay effective from 1 September 2011 for prematurely retired teachers who are re-employed.

The current Teachers' Pay Scales are set out in Circular 2014-13 Teachers Pay and Allowances from 1 September 2013

Threshold and Upper Pay Scale (UPS) Progression

The Employing Authorities issued a letter to schools PDF 23KB outlining threshold arrangements from September 2015 which included

They also issued a letter to schools PDF 14KB outlining the Upper Pay Scale progression arrangements from September 2015 which included:

Policy for Teaching Staff – Acting Up Appointments and Honoraria Payments

From 1 September 2011, a new policy has been in place in respect of teachers temporarily undertaking acting-up appointments or additional duties and responsibilities for which an honorarium payment may be made from schools’ delegated budgets.

Teachers Health and Wellbeing (THAW)

The Northern Ireland Teachers Health and Wellbeing Survey PDF 1.49 MB
The survey publishes the results of a questionnaire which all serving teachers  had the opportunity to complete to identify issues that may impact on their health and well-being and, where appropriate, to develop strategies to encourage healthier working practices.

The Executive Summary of the Teachers Health and Wellbeing Report PDF 799 KB
The Executive Summary summarises the findings from the Northern Ireland Teachers' Health and Wellbeing Survey.

The Teachers Health and Wellbeing Newsletter December 2003 PDF 258 KB.
The newsletter was produced by the Health and Wellbeing Strategy Group and provides information on support services available to all teachers and on the 'Health Promoting Schools' initiative.