Members of school leaders’ union NAHT’s National Executive committee met today in Birmingham and gave their backing to plans for a ballot on industrial action in Northern Ireland.
Paul Whiteman, NAHT’s general secretary, said: “Careful consideration was given to the results of the indicative ballot carried out in January and weighed against any prospect of settlement through negotiation. We remain open to discussions and we hope that we can find a resolution when we next meet with representatives from the employers on 25th June. However, having completed all the necessary legislative steps, we are now able to conduct a formal ballot of all members on industrial action if the need arises.”
NAHT (Northern Ireland) President Geri Cameron said: “School leaders are moderate minded people who always have the interests of learners at heart, but we have been driven to consider industrial action after a very long and difficult period for education in Northern Ireland. There is a generation of children in school who deserve better. School leaders will focus their attention on what is best for the children and we will ensure, to the best of our ability, that any action will impact upon the overly bureaucratic education system.”
NAHT’s National Executive gave its unanimous support to the plans for a ballot. Speaking afterwards, NAHT(NI) Vice President Graham Gault said: “For many years, school leaders in Northern Ireland have been the glue holding the system together for the sake of our children. We are now, however, at the point where we must make a stand on principle. We want to find a resolution at our meeting next week, however we will ballot our members on formal industrial action if we are not satisfied.”
Members are encouraged to contact NAHT(NI) to make sure that their contact information is up to date in anticipation of a formal ballot being conducted early in the new academic year if a resolution is not reached.
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