Secondary teachers reject motion to hold strike action

ASTI members will withdraw from classroom substitution duties instead

Secondary teachers reject motion to hold strike action

Teachers protest outside Loreto College in Dublin in 2016 | Image: RollingNews.ie

The threat of secondary school closures next month has been averted, after teachers voted against taking more strike action.

ASTI delegates spent the day considering a series of one-day stoppages in protest over pay levels for new entrants.

The motion was defeated following a day-long debate on Thursday afternoon.

However, delegates have voted to withdraw from classroom substitution duties from September.

Education editor with the Irish Times, Carl O'Brien outlines, what this could mean.

"Potentially that could be the closure of schools or half days.

"Really the problem would be that schools might not be able to find teachers to cover those who call in sick at short notice".

Union officials have said any action will not disrupt Leaving or Junior Certificate students ahead of their exams.

Earlier Ger Curtin, president-elect of the ASTI, said any decision on stoppages will be made with the well-being and the welfare of students in mind.

"We're not going to do anything that's going to jeopardise anyone's exam", Mr Curtin said.

ASTI General-Secretary Kieran Christie said: "Key issues must be addressed in the next round of pay talks including the pay of new entrants to the public service.

"We have championed the phrase 'Equal Pay for Equal Work'.

"What does this mean for young teachers and others at the start of their careers in the public sector? It means starting your career with the expectation that you will be able to access a mortgage, a car loan, childcare; normal every day expectations.

"For teachers, in particular, it means being treated in a manner consistent with the values of social justice that you teach to your students."

The ASTI annual convention is hosting 500 teachers from schools all over Ireland.

Schools are set to re-open next Monday, April 24th.

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