Members of teaching union NASUWT will begin their action short of strike action on Monday 9th May, it has been confirmed.

One of the largest teaching unions in Northern Ireland, its members voted “overwhelmingly” in favour of industrial action, with 98% in support of action short of strike action and 81% in support of strike action.

It comes as part of a dispute over pay, workload and adverse working conditions.

In a letter sent to its members, General Secretary of the union, Dr Patrick Roach said the industrial action would take effect on Monday 9th May and would be “continuous”.

The action will mean areas such as school meetings, covering for other staff and overseeing exams will all be affected and will apply to all NASUWT members including classroom teachers, substitute teachers, vice principals and principals.

In the letter sent to members, Dr Roach provided a detailed breakdown of the instructions for the industrial action and stated they must not undertake any “existing or new unremunerated duties or responsibilities” which are “not required of all classroom teachers”.

Industrial action is “wake-up call”

In all there are 20 different actions and duties that members must not carry out in schools from 9th May.

These include not undertaking any cover for absent colleagues outside of the requirements of the Teachers’ Terms and Conditions; not undertaking invigilation of public exams and not submitting their teacher planners or lesson plans to members of the Senior Management Team or anyone acting on their behalf.

Additionally, they must not send or reply to work-related emails, texts and social media messages outside pupil session times or during lunch breaks and they will not attend more than one meeting each month outside pupil session times, lasting no more than one hour.

Members are also instructed not to attend more than one parents’ evening event outside pupil sessions and they must not undertake extra-curricular activities unless otherwise agreed with the union.

NASUWT National Official NI, Justin McCamphill had said that the ballot result must be “a wake-up call to the Minister” who he said has “singularly failed to deliver the fair pay and working conditions that teachers need and deserve”.

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