Results of Asti ballot on strike action expected

Up to 550 schools could close on January 17th if union members reject Haddington Road deal

Thu, Dec 19, 2013, 08:08

DICK AHLSTROM

Secondary schools will learn this afternoon if they are facing strike action next month when the results of a ballot of the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland (ASTI) are released this afternoon.

If teachers reject a revised agreement hammered out with the Department of Education and Skills, then up to 550 schools could close on January 17th on health and safety grounds.

The ASTI ballot relates to the Haddington Road Agreement which set terms and conditions for all public service unions. ASTI was the only union to vote no to Haddington Road, a move which prompted further negotiations and a second ballot of its members.

The department has already warned that a No vote would cause it to invoke powers under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act. This would allow it require ASTI members to provide supervision and substitution duties without payment of an allowance for these services from January 17th.

Separately, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has also threatened a ballot of members that would block Government plans for revision of the Junior Cycle.