Northern Ireland news

Further strike action at Belfast primary school

Members of the NASUWT striking at St Patrick's PS

TEACHERS at a Belfast primary school have taken fresh strike action claiming concerns have not been addressed.

The action by the NASUWT union at St Patrick's PS in north Belfast will last until Thursday.

Staff walked out for six days in November last year. They said the latest action was due to "deep concerns" about working conditions.

It involves about half the 550-pupil school's teaching staff.

Those in other unions will work as normal but will not undertake any additional duties caused by NASUWT members' absence.

The school was created through the amalgamation of Edmund Rice boys' and Star of the Sea girls' schools in September 2013.

NASUWT General Secretary Chris Keates said it was regrettable that sufficient progress had not been made to avoid more strike action.

"These are dedicated and committed teachers who care about the pupils they teach and for whom strike action is a last resort, but they have been left with no choice," she said.

"Following the previous strike action in November, the NASUWT engaged positively and constructively with the employer. However, all these months later the teachers at the school have yet to see an improvement in their working environment."

Justin McCamphill, NASUWT National Official for Northern Ireland, said the union was committed to resolving the dispute.

The Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) said it was fully committed to working with the parties involved.

"There have been detailed discussions with the NASUWT members in the school on foot of which CCMS put forward proposals which included independent review to establish the precise issues of dispute so that they can be addressed," a spokesman said.

"This dispute will not be solved through continuous strike action, it requires a commitment to continued dialogue."

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