Second level teachers may take further strike action, ASTI says

Union urging its 18,000 members to reject proposals drawn up before Christmas

Union president Ed Byrne said if the new proposals were rejected in a forthcoming ballot, he could not rule out further school closures.  Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Union president Ed Byrne said if the new proposals were rejected in a forthcoming ballot, he could not rule out further school closures. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

 

Second level teachers may take further strike action if proposals to resolve a series of grievances are rejected, the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) has said.

Union president Ed Byrne said the ASTI was urging its 18,000 members to reject proposals drawn up before Christmas in talks to deal with issues such as new entrant pay, junior cycle reform and the overall Lansdowne Road public service agreement.

Hundreds of second level schools closed for a number of days in November as part of disputes over these issues.

Mr Byrne said if the new proposals were rejected in a forthcoming ballot, he could not rule out further school closures.

However he said teachers were very cognisant of the needs of their students and would take all these issues into account when deciding on future action.

The union’s standing committee will decide on the full strategy at a meeting to be held later this month.

Members of the ASTI have had penalties imposed on them such as forfeiture of incremental pay increases since last summer as the Government considered that the union had repudiated the Lansdowne Road agreement.

Mr Byrne said the ASTI had been warned by Department of Education officials that further unspecified measures would be taken against union members if they rejected the current proposals.

Mr Byrne said the new proposals “do not achieve equal pay for equal work for recently qualified teachers and they do not address our outstanding concerns with regard to junior cycle reform”.