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Second teachers' union plans to take industrial action

By Rebecca Black

A second teachers' union has announced it is to take industrial action.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has voted to commence industrial action in schools from March 30.

The actions has been described as "work to rule", and not an all-out strike.

It comes after the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) announced industrial action, including a strike next Friday.

Education Minister John O'Dowd said that as a result of budget cuts he expected that 1,500 teaching and support staff jobs will be gone by September.

His department is facing a £97m cut for 2015/16.

But he spoke of his disappointment at the union's decision.

INTO said the result of its ballot shows the anger of its members against what it calls the "cuts agenda".

However a spokeswoman for the largest teachers' union, the NASUWT, said discussions among its members were ongoing. In a statement yesterday the ATL described itself as "traditionally the most moderate of the teachers unions" as it announced that 84% of members voted in favour of industrial action.

An official said ATL wrote to the minister last month to outline its concerns in relation to loss of contractual incremental progression, imposition of performance-related pay and the budget cuts which it said "impact on the ability of teachers to undertake their duties with professional integrity".

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