A union representing the majority of school principals in Northern Ireland has begun to ballot its members on industrial action.
The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) Northern Ireland represents principals and vice-principals in around two-thirds of 1,150 schools in the Province.
Members are now being asked if they would back either strike action or action short of a strike.
The vote, which opened today, will close on September 30.
The union had previously indicated it would go ahead with the ballot unless concerns about increased workload, school support and the inspection process were addressed.
NAHT (NI) president Geri Cameron said: “It is time for action.
“I would encourage every member to complete the ballot and return it as soon as possible before the deadline.
“Any action taken by NAHT (NI) members will be directed towards the employers who have failed to end the dispute.
We will work towards minimising any impact upon learners and their families.
“NAHT (NI) remain open to further negotiations with the employers to find a resolution that will positively impact on the work life of school leaders.”
The other four main teaching unions in Northern Ireland are currently engaged in long-running industrial action over pay and a number of other matters.