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'School surveillance claims must be rigorously investigated' - Ní Chuilín

5 April, 2019 - by Carál Ní Chuilín

Allegations that striking staff at a North Belfast school may have been subject to illegal surveillance are shocking and must be rigorously investigated, Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín has said.

The North Belfast MLA described the claims as a sinister twist in the ongoing union dispute which has seen NASUWT members at St. Patrick’s Primary School engaging in strike action.

She commented: “The new allegations centre on claims that some teachers have been subject to surveillance since they first took strike action last November. If true, that is a sinister and possible illegal development which is understandably a cause for huge concern for those involved.

“CCMS and the school Board of Governors have announced plans for an independent review of the shocking allegations. They are also potentially a matter for the PSNI and must be rigorously investigated.”

The wider industrial relations issues at the school must also be addressed, Carál Ní Chuilín added.

“The Board of Governors has asked CCMS to develop, possibly with assistance from the Labour Relations Agency or other such independent body, a separate review and report into the working practices and relationships that exist in the school,” she said.

“That is a welcome step and I am again encouraging school management and the NASUWT to engage constructively with staff to ensure there can be a resolution to this dispute.

“It’s important the education of children is not impacted by this strike and that parents are kept informed of any developments.

“Sinn Féin support all efforts to find a resolution and would encourage everyone involved in this dispute to enter into meaningful dialogue.” 

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