Overview of teachers' terms and conditions

Information and guidance on the pay and conditions of teaching staff, including how decisions on pay are reached; teacher pay scales; and any policy material related to pay and progression.

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) 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 (and the Amendment Regulations of 1988, No. 299) 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 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 produced three independent reports:

Conditions of service changes

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

The Employers issued an addendum to the Career Break Scheme on 4 August 2010, and Procedures and Guidance for Handling Teacher Redundancies to all schools on 20 January 2010.

Pay guidance

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

Salary policy guidance

This area contains guidance issued by the employing authorities/employer representatives on salary policy.  

You can access appendices related to the document by using the links  below:

Pay circulars


Threshold and upper pay scale (UPS) progression

The Employing Authorities issued a letter to schools outlining threshold arrangements from September 2015 which includes:

They also issued a letter to schools 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, an acting-up appointments and honoraria payments 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 publishes the results of a questionnaire which all serving teachers had the opportunity to complete.  The aim of the survey was to identify issues that may impact on their health and well-being and, where appropriate, to develop strategies to encourage healthier working practices.

The Teachers Health and Wellbeing 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.

Survey on tackling violence/abuse against teachers in schools

Employers issued a survey on violence/abuse against teachers in schools to a random selection of teachers in May 2010.  The survey and resultant Policy Statement on tackling violence and abusive behaviour can be found on the following page: