TUI teachers to refuse extra work during ASTI strike

The Teacher's Union of Ireland will not cooperate with any “alternative timetable or temporary rostering arrangements” during ASTI strike

The Teacher’s Union of Ireland (TUI) has advised its members not to undertake “any work normally done by members of the ASTI” who are involved in industrial action.

Members of the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) are set to walk off the job in less than a week for the first of seven days of strike action.

Officials from the TUI were meeting today to their response to the ASTI action.

Following the meeting, a TUI statement said any decision on whether to open schools during the strike action is a matter for individual boards of management – adding that the union expects schools to have “due regard to the health, safety and welfare of students and staff.”

TUI members will continue to undertake their normal supervision and substitution duties while refusing to cooperate with any “alternative timetable or temporary rostering arrangements” that may be imposed.

Industrial relations legislation bars the union from directing their members not to cross the ASTI picket line, with members who refuse to do so regarded as being “engaged in unofficial strike action.”

They will however “support any member of the TUI who does not pass a picket, should disciplinary action be threatened or taken against her/him.”

TUI members who refuse to cross the line will not be paid for “the day in question.”

The Minister for Education has again described the strike action as “unnecessary.”

The teachers are striking against unequal pay rates for recently qualified teachers and the worsening of ASTI members’ terms and conditions.

Education Minister, Richard Bruton said his department have been making efforts to resolve the dispute:

“I think this is a dispute that is unnecessary; we have a very substantial deal on offer particularly for young teachers,” said Minister Bruton.

“For example a young teacher who was recruited last September will, under this agreement, get a 22% pay increase so there is a very substantial pay increase available.

“We feel that there [are] real opportunities to progress the issues of concern to the members of the ASTI and we want to do that.”

The ASTI and the Department of Education will hold further talks on Monday.