Industrial action backed by head teachers in Northern Ireland

A union representing many school leaders in Northern Ireland has received an “unprecedented” mandate for industrial action. The BBC reports

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) represents principals and vice-principals in about two thirds of NI’s 1,100 schools. In the union’s indicative ballot, school leaders voted overwhelmingly to proceed to a formal vote on action.

In total 93% of its members voted for industrial action short of striking. Action up to and including strike action was backed by 58% of members.

The NAHT now has a mandate to proceed to a formal ballot on whether to take either strike action – or action short of that – if they decide to do so.

NAHT NI president Geri Cameron said the move was unprecedented. “We haven’t escalated our dispute over pay. Our issues are around special educational needs, workload, the general slice of the cake schools get.”

Ms Cameron said she “doesn’t remember similar action” in 34 years in education.

“This is not the type of thing headteachers do, but there it is – the marker is down.”

The move was announced during a Stormont meeting hosted by the NAHT and attended by about 100 principals.

Politicians from Alliance, UUP, Sinn Féin, SDLP and DUP were asked a series of questions by school leaders, mainly around school funding and budgets.

Read more Industrial action backed by head teachers in Northern Ireland

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