Mid Ulster MLA Patsy McGlone extends solidarity to FE College staff on industrial action
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Mr McGlone said, "Our further education sector is at the heart of skills development and economic productivity. It is unforgiveable that our staff in this crucial sector are not properly remunerated or respected for their work. It is particularly shameful that FE lecturers in NI earn thousands of pounds less than their counterparts across the water in Britain and it is deeply regrettable that this has forced workers to take this stand.
“We will all sympathise with the many students who may be impacted by this action, particularly as they begin the first week of their courses in colleges across the North. However, I also know that students will also feel strongly that their educators should be paid fairly.
"We cannot forget that the working conditions of staff directly impact the learning conditions of students.The SDLP has previously written to the Department for the Economy on these issues and made clear our opposition to cuts to our further education sector in our Party’s response to the budget earlier this year.It is imperative that all staff feel respected and valued in their work and that this respect is reflected in proper wages."
Mr McGlone said they must ensure that our education system is sustainable in the longer-term, particularly for those members of staff entering the teaching profession in our colleges. “The SDLP will continue to stand with striking staff until they are afforded the economic justice that they deserve,” he added.