Northern Ireland

Susan Parlour suspended from teachers' union executive

Susan Parlour Image copyright Kevin Cooper Photoline
Image caption Susan Parlour has been barred by the NASUWT from sitting on its UK National Executive for 12 months.

A prominent teachers' leader from Northern Ireland has said she is "devastated" at being suspended from her union's ruling body.

Susan Parlour is a high-profile former Northern Ireland president of the NASUWT teaching union.

She has been barred by the NASUWT from sitting on its UK National Executive for 12 months.

Ms Parlour alleged that there had been a "concerted campaign" to oust her from the union.

A NASUWT spokesperson said the BBC had been "provided with information about internal matters within the NASUWT which is misleading and inaccurate".

BBC News NI has seen the minutes of a NASUWT appeal hearing into Ms Parlour's suspension, which took place on 14 June.

It said that she had "behaved in a manner prejudicial to the interests of the union".

Ms Parlour faced a number of complaints including "acting in a manner that risked prejudicing staff disciplinary procedures".

She was also accused of "approaching members of the National Executive in a bar in an unacceptable manner", and "acting in an aggressive and unacceptable manner" towards the union's national president.

Neither Ms Parlour nor her representative were able to be present at her appeal, but the committee hearing it ruled it could go ahead in her absence.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption NASUWT is a teachers' union which operates across the UK

They decided to uphold an earlier disciplinary committee's decision, that she should be barred from representing Northern Ireland on the NASUWT national executive for a year.

Ms Parlour said she was "truly devastated" by the union's action against her given that she had been elected to her post by teachers in Northern Ireland.

"Over the past 18 months, I believe there has been a concerted campaign to oust me from the union," she said.

"My crime has been to ask questions which they did not approve of regarding the suspensions of NASUWT staff and calling for the election timetable of the general secretary.

"By removing me at an appeal hearing held without either me or my representative being present, NASUWT has not only shown contempt for the democratic process here in Northern Ireland as I have recently been re-elected, but for fairness and justice in its totality".

A number of NASUWT members in Northern Ireland have subsequently written to the union to complain about the action against Ms Parlour.

According to correspondence seen by BBC News NI, some have said they will consider their membership of the union if her suspension is not overturned.

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