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School Leaders Begin Industrial Action Short of Strike

Today (Tuesday 18th October) school leaders’ union NAHT NI start industrial action short of strike in a dispute with employers and government over pay.

Dr Graham Gault, Director of NAHT in Northern Ireland, said:

“The failure of management to address over a decade of pay erosion has brought us to this point. In truth, the remuneration for school leaders has been reduced by almost 30%. Not only has this had a devastating impact on the morale and wellbeing of our current Principals and Vice Principals, it has begun to impact in serious ways on both retention and recruitment for the profession.”

NAHT’s actions short of strike include a refusal to facilitate or cooperate with unsolicited Ministerial and senior civil servant visits to schools, as well as a refusal to provide information, data or financial planning to employers.

NAHT’s action will be continuous and, according to Dr Gault, “will be intensified should management continue to fail to resolve this dispute satisfactorily.”

Liam McGuckin, President of NAHT(NI) said:

“We have worked closely with the teaching unions because this dispute relates to the fact that teachers and school leaders have collectively had their pay so appallingly damaged in recent years.”

The President also said:

“We have taken every step to ensure that our actions are focused on the employers and will not impact our children and school communities.”

The actions that NAHT is instructing members to take from today are as follows:

  1. Refuse to engage with and/or attend Area Learning Community (ALC) meetings, the School improvement Programme and the EA School Principals’ Forum.
  2. Refuse to facilitate school visits by School Development Services, save for legitimate safeguarding issues or if the school is in Formal Intervention.
  3. Refuse to engage with School Improvement Professionals, any unsolicited contact/correspondence from employers, save for legitimate safeguarding issues or if the school is in Formal Intervention.
  4. Refuse to promote, facilitate or engage with any new initiatives, refuse to attend training events or meetings convened by the employers and refuse to create new policies or update existing policies, save for legitimate safeguarding training.
  5. Refuse to engage with Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI), save for legitimate matters of safeguarding (strictly in adherence to the ETI Safeguarding Proforma) or if the school is in Formal Intervention.
  6. Refuse to submit School Development Plans.
  7. Refuse to operate, engage with or implement PRSD for any member of staff who is at the top of their respective scale, including the vice principal and principal.
  8. Refuse to attend, facilitate or assist more than one Board of Governors meeting per term or disseminate (or assist with the dissemination of) training materials to governors.

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