Northern Ireland news

Teachers out on strike - and more days of action are planned

Teachers protest outside St Patrick's Primary School
Mairead Holland

TEACHERS at a north Belfast primary school went on strike yesterday amid claims that management practices are "undermining their health and ability to do the best for their pupils".

Members of the NASUWT union at St Patrick's Primary School in Pim Street began the first of six separate days of industrial action.

It is understood around a third of the teaching staff took part in the industrial action.

The union's general secretary Chris Keates said the members were dedicated teachers. "Taking strike action is the last thing they want to do but they have been left with no choice," she added.

She said the union had attempted at every stage to work with the employer to resolve the issues.

The Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) said the strike would adversely affect pupils.

"CCMS fully appreciates the right of teachers to take industrial action," a spokesperson said.

"However, we do not believe that in this instance such action is either proportionate or warranted.

"It is our firm belief that the issues at the heart of this dispute can best be dealt with through an open and honest dialogue which seeks to provide balance to the concerns on both sides."

A further five days of action are planned on November 20, 22, 27, 28 and 29.

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