EA urged to offer financial aid to unpaid substitute teachers after new system introduced
The Education Authority (EA) had been asked to offer financial assistance to any unpaid substitute teachers following the introduction of a new system.
The NASUWT said it had been “inundated with messages” from concerned teachers who fear they will not be paid this month due to problems with the Northern Ireland Substitute Teachers Register (NISTR).
Justin McCamphill of the teachers’ union said “it is now up to EA to put in place arrangements to immediately provide an advance of funds to all those affected by the situation”.
The new system, previously removed from the control of the General Board of Education and placed with EA, was put into use in August, but soon after users said that problems starting had prevented them from using it. access the database.
The system appears to have run into further difficulties with EA writing to directors on Thursday to say that all NISTR reservations had to be signed with the current pay period, which for August was September 5th.
The Department for Education has agreed to extend the deadline by two days to give schools more time to sign their reservations.
“Additional human resources have been put in place to process more than 3,400 retrospective bookings submitted by schools and to provide assistance to those who are having difficulty using the new solution,” the letter states.
“Please note that all bookings that have been ‘accepted’ by Substitute Teachers and signed by NISTR schools by 6pm on September 8, 2022 for days worked through August 31, 2022 will be paid for on September 16, 2022.
“If a reservation has not been confirmed by a teacher and signed by a school by 6:00 p.m. on September 8, 2022, the teacher will be paid on October 18, 2022.”
This means that potentially some sub-teachers will not be paid until mid-October.
It is believed that most under-teachers would have worked only a limited number of shifts last month as the new academic term was just beginning, with estimates for most at three to four days, but some potentially up to eight days.
A newly qualified teacher earns £123.78 per day, while more experienced teachers can earn up to £210.74 per shift.
Mr McCamphill said the EA needed to step in and help those affected.
“Although it is expected that there will be some teething problems with the introduction of any new system, it is fair to say that there have been more problems than anyone would have anticipated. “, did he declare.
“The new system has the potential to be one of the best systems in the world for deploying temporary workers and we expect these issues will not recur in the October payroll.
“It is also true that most of the problems are not the fault of the NISTR team. Nevertheless, many substitute teachers expected to be paid today for work done in August. The non-payment of these teachers is causing extreme financial hardship in the midst of the cost of living crisis.
“Teachers have told the NASUWT that they cannot afford to put fuel in their car to get to work in the first place. It is now up to the EA to put in place arrangements to immediately pay an advance of fund to everyone affected by the situation.”
The EA did not issue a statement in response.