Department of Education and ASTI to meet tomorrow over teachers’ dispute

Minister says any deal cannot interfere with Haddington Road agreement itself

Minister for Education & skills Ruairi Quinn. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Education & skills Ruairi Quinn. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins


The Department of Educationand the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) will begin formal talks on Tuesday in a bid to resolve the industrial action which has been underway for some weeks after its members rejected the Haddington Road agreement.

Among the issues on the agenda will be the use of teachers’ extra hours, a review of the casualisation of the teaching profession at second level and an examination of whether teachers who had not previously volunteered for substitution and supervisory duties in schools could make a salary contribution in lieu of compulsory supervisory duties.

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn said today he was hopeful there would some movement in relation to the dispute which has seen ASTI members engage in relatively low-level industrial action.

This has mainly involved refusing to take part in parent-teacher and other meetings outside school hours.

ASTI members are also not participating in in-service training for the Government’s new reforms of the Junior Cert and not taking on any new middle-management duties without payment.

Mr Quinn said there had been “ discussions and dialogue” with the ASTI and he hoped that some progress would be made.

He said he wanted to see the row resolved as soon as possible.

The Minister said he was “open to consideration of various issues provided it does not interfere with the Haddington Road agreement itself”.

The ASTI central executive is to meet on Saturday to review developments.