We don't want public transport-type strikes by teachers and gardaí - Donohoe

Teachers and gardaí are set to go on strike in the coming weeks

We don't want public transport-type strikes by teachers and gardaí - Donohoe

Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe talking to the media at Government Buildings | Image: RollingNews.ie

The Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe says any agreement with teachers over pay must be within the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

Teachers belonging to the ASTI are planning to strike for seven days over the next two months, but have agreed to hold more talks with the Department of Education on Monday.

The Association of Secondary Teachers (ASTI) say they want better entry pay levels for new colleagues.

"We have to do all of this in the context of what is affordable for our country," Minister Donohoe told Newstalk Drive.

"I have to ensure that any arrangement we reach, if we can reach one, is affordable for the country and respects the fact that they signed on to an agreement in good faith."

Using recent disruptions in the public transport sector as an example, Mr Donohoe said he wants to avoid that happening.

"We're all aware what happened in transport over the last year where a wage claim in one part of transport - in the Luas - had big effects elsewhere.

"We don't want that to happen again".

"It is a huge pity that schools, families, students and teachers are facing this level of disruption.

"I don't want to see this happen. But the approach that we used in working with the INTO and the TUI, who are also representing teachers, who are inside the Lansdowne Road Agreement offers a framework within which how we want to continue to work with the ASTI.

"It has to be inside the framework of the Lansdowne Road Agreement."

While members of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) and Garda Representative Association (GRA) are to withdraw their labour for four days in November.

The AGSI has insisted talks on pay restoration and pay negotiations failed to produce meaningful results for their members.

"In honouring - and I do, and I respect the work that the teachers and the guards do - I also have to have respect to the broader interests of taxpayers and...everybody inside the agreement", Mr Donohoe said.

"My officials in my department want to and will continue to intensively engage with the unions and with their representatives in the coming days.

"Because it is in nobody's interest that we get to a point that these strikes do happen - but all of it has to be squared off inside what's affordable to the taxpayer".