Talks aimed at averting teachers' strike adjourned until tomorrow

Department of Education says it "remains the case that widespread school closures are expected"

Talks aimed at averting teachers' strike adjourned until tomorrow

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In the teachers' pay dispute, talks between ASTI representatives and the Department of Education have ended this evening without agreement.

However, negotiations are expected to resume in the morning.

Hundreds of secondary schools across the country look set to close next Monday unless an agreement is reached.

Around 17,000 ASTI members are threatening to withdraw from supervision and substitution duties after the mid-term.

Last week, the union staged an official strike day over pay levels for new entrants to the profession.

Six more days of strike action are scheduled to take place this and next month.

In a statement this evening, the Department of Education said: "Department officials have remained in regular contact with the school management bodies on contingency arrangements ahead of the withdrawal of supervision and substitution from 7th November.

"However, at this stage it remains the case that widespread school closures are expected from the 7th November due to the ASTI’s industrial action and non-cooperation with contingency," it adds.