Teachers need more say and pay - The General Secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers, Mr Fred Smithies, told a meeting of the Union in Derry that adequate pay levels are essential to ensure that good classroom teachers are encouraged to join the profession and stay in the classroom. Mr Smithies also warned that the present hierarchical structures were outdated and did not meet present day needs. He told the meeting that negotiations currently taking place under the auspices of the ACAS would determine the future of education for the remainder of this century. He also said that good teachers would only be motivated if they were given a share in the running of schools and determining policy and suggested that those who had misgivings about this should look to the USA where the practise of shared responsibility worked well.
Blame the Council - says Allen - Official Unionist Party Alderman Jack Allen has blamed Derry City Council for any additional financial burden placed on local rate-payers as a result of Council having to abandon its plans for civil offices at Brooke Park. And DUP councillor Gregory Campbell has called for surcharges to be imposed on councillors who voted in favour of the Brooke Park project. Mr Allen rejected claims from the SDLP in Derry that unionist objections to the Brooke Park project were responsible for the £½ million bill which could face rate-payers if civic offices have to be planned elsewhere. He laid the blame for the costs at the feet of Council and its legal advisers and claimed the action by the Official unionist saved ratepayers some £3 million which the new civil offices were to have cost as well as preserving Brooke Park for the people of the city.
Hope for clothing retailers - The brighter weather and promise of summer around the corner means that things are looking good for people involved in the clothing trade. Last year, because of the dismal weather, traders throughout the North West had a very bad summer season and had to sell of stock, some of it at below cost price to make room for the autumn and winter arrivals. Derry Chamber of Trade President, Mr Colm Doherty, says that after a slow start, business this summer is moving very well. The sunshine last weekend brought the shoppers out in their droves, sun hats, sandals, sun creams, t-shirts, shorts, beachwear, lightweight suits were all in great demand with a good rush on garden furniture and equipment. “We’re eternal optimists,” says Mr Doherty. “We need to be in order to survive. Even after the disastrous summer last year when some smaller businesses were lucky to survice, traders had to go out and stock up on all the summer stock, keeping thier fingers crossed that the weather would get a lot kinder.”