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Ulster union to vote on action

Northern Ireland's biggest teaching union, the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, will ballot members on refusing to cover for absent or sick colleagues next week.

The action would be in protest at the refusal of the province's employers to open negotiations about the level of cover teachers are expected to provide.

The Ulster Teachers' Union, Irish National Teachers' Organisation and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers are expected to hold their own ballots on the issue.

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