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Northern Ireland principals to vote on strike action

Northern Ireland's leading teachers’ union is balloting members for strike action (PA)
Northern Ireland's leading teachers’ union is balloting members for strike action (PA)

Around two-thirds of school principals in Northern Ireland are to vote on potential strike action, it has emerged.

The move comes amid a dispute over workloads, inspection processes and the supported given to schools.

A ballot is set to be carried out by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), which represents principals and vice-principals across Northern Ireland's 1,100 schools.

The BBC reports that members will be asked whether they will support strike action or action short of a strike.

In a previous indicative vote, members voted overwhelmingly to vote on industrial action.

Geri Cameron, president of the NAHT in Northern Ireland, told the BBC: "Continued industrial action by teaching staff during this time, coupled with a lack of a functioning executive for the past three years, has pushed NAHT(NI) members to their limit.

"Our members have been left over-worked, under-valued and without protection and support in their time of greatest need.

"They have now begun the new school year with no change on the horizon."

The NAHT is only one of Northern Ireland's teaching unions not currently involved in some form of industrial action.

Ms Cameron said there a a "demonstrable depth of feeling" among principals and vice-principals that action must now be taken.

"Whatever action we may take will be directed towards the employers and we will work towards minimising any impact upon learners and their families," she said.

"Of course, we hope that employing bodies will provide a meaningful response to help bring this dispute to an end before we go to ballot."

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