Schools Still Set To Close As Negotiations Go On Ahead
Talks are set to resume at 3:30pm today
While negotiations resume later today, it is still expected that the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) strike action will definitely go ahead next week.
Yesterday's talks lasted approximately four hours and they are set to resume at 3:30pm today.
Teachers are refusing to carry out supervision and substitution duties - resulting in the closure of 400 schools.
Striking will affect over 200,000 secondary school pupils, of all ages, unless the ASTI and the Department of Education can find some common ground during their talks today.
Teachers are still expected to turn up for work as normal on Monday, even though many schoolswill be left unable to open for health and safety reasons due to withdrawal from supervision and substitution roles.
The government has refused to pay ASTI teachers for these duties unless the union signs up to the Lansdowne Road Agreement of public sector pay.
Yesterday evening, ASTI president Ed Byrne said it was “always inevitable” that deducting pay from teachers for supervision and substitution duties would lead to a withdrawal from the work.
We made this clear to the Department as early as July of this year. Teachers received a commitment under the Haddington Road Agreement that this money would be paid.
The Department’s decision to pursue this course of action is extremely problematic in terms of resolving this dispute.
Students all around the country are set to lose seven days of school, precious amounts of time for all students, especially those in exam years.