ASTI President says sides in pay dispute 'as far apart as ever'
The leader of 17,500 striking secondary teachers said the sides in their pay dispute are “as far apart as ever.”
And with no prospect of an early end to the row, ASTI president ED Byrne said that at the moment the support from his members for continuing action “seems quite strong”.
Standing on a picket line at Pobalscoil Neasain, Baldoyle, Dublin today, Mr Byrne said they would be listening to their members and they would be advised by them.
A one day-strike by the Association of Secondary Teachers’ Ireland (ASTI) has closed about 500-second-level schools today, forcing 250,000 students to stay at home.
And about 400 of those schools, with 200,000 students, face indefinite closure because of a separate ASTI decision to stop doing supervision and substitution work.
Thousands of ASTI teachers are now off the payroll for an indefinite period as a result of their refusal to do supervision and substitution work, while all are suffering the loss of pay for strike days.
Both the one-day strikes and the withdrawal from supervision and substitution have their roots in the ASTI’s rejection of the Lansdowne Road Agreement (LRA)
Last week’s offer in the Garda pay dispute has triggered warnings from other unions that the LRA is no longer intact and that the Government must bring forward its successor.
Mr Byrne said today that while the sides in the ASTI dispute were “as far apart as ever” there had been a “great deal of talk around the LRA and how the LRA may change and may become more flexible than anybody realised before”.
He said they would have ”to see how that goes” and “if there was a follow on talks for all unions, we would like to make a submission and to have our voice heard in such a forum.”