The GMB Union announced its members had turned down a pay offer on 9 May, meaning bus workers will go on strike next week.
In a statement, GMB said: “Drivers, cleaners and shunters across the company will walk out for seven days from 17 to 23 May 2022, causing the entire bus network to grind to a halt.” The strike will close the entire bus network, meaning school children and students travelling for exams via bus will need alternative transport to schools.
A Unite Union strike planned for 11 – 31 May has been suspended, news which has been welcomed by the Education Authority. Koulla Yiasouma, NI Commissioner for Children and Young People, had raised concerns last week about the effect on special schools of strike action, saying: “Children and young people with special educational needs (SEN), particularly those attending Special Schools, were severely affected by the Pandemic and the restrictions. Special Schools provide education but also essential therapeutic and health care services and these were lost to many children and families. It is, therefore, disappointing and concerning that it is these very same children, particularly those at Glenveagh Special School, who are most severely affected by this industrial action.
“I do not question a worker’s right to strike, especially when we consider the impact of the rising cost of living on so many families. However, I urge both sides to make special considerations for children and young people and come to an immediate resolution so that children can enjoy their right to a full education and to health care.”