Saturday 21 October 2017

ASTI President says sides in pay dispute 'as far apart as ever'

ASTI President Ed Byrne and ASTI (wearing hat) General Secretary Kieran Christie with secondary school teachers and ASTI members pictured this afternoon on the picket line outside Pobalscoil Neasáin, Baldoyle, Dublin... Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
ASTI President Ed Byrne and ASTI (wearing hat) General Secretary Kieran Christie with secondary school teachers and ASTI members pictured this afternoon on the picket line outside Pobalscoil Neasáin, Baldoyle, Dublin... Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
ASTI President Ed Byrne with secondary school teachers and ASTI members pictured this afternoon on the picket line outside Pobalscoil Neasáin, Baldoyle, Dublin... Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Secondary school teachers and ASTI members pictured this afternoon on the picket line outside Pobalscoil Neasáin, Baldoyle, Dublin... Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

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.

Secondary school teachers and ASTI members pictured this afternoon on the picket line outside Pobalscoil Neasáin, Baldoyle, Dublin... Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Secondary school teachers and ASTI members pictured this afternoon on the picket line outside Pobalscoil Neasáin, Baldoyle, Dublin... Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

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.

ASTI President Ed Byrne with secondary school teachers and ASTI members pictured this afternoon on the picket line outside Pobalscoil Neasáin, Baldoyle, Dublin... Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
ASTI President Ed Byrne with secondary school teachers and ASTI members pictured this afternoon on the picket line outside Pobalscoil Neasáin, Baldoyle, Dublin... Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

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.”

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