Thursday 8 December 2016

School closure fears mount as talks continue

Published 30/10/2016 | 02:30

Dispute: ASTI's Ed Byrne Photo: Tommy Clancy
Dispute: ASTI's Ed Byrne Photo: Tommy Clancy

Wholesale and indefinite school closures are becoming increasingly likely, as the teachers' pay dispute shows no sign of being resolved.

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On Thursday, 507 schools shut for the day.

But concern is mounting that up to 500 schools may not reopen at all after the mid-term break if a deal is not brokered.

The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI), of which Ed Byrne is president, was steadfast to its position after a meeting on Friday.

And Education Minister Richard Bruton appeared resolute in making no further concessions to the ASTI over and above deals agreed with other unions.

Senior Department of Education officials and ASTI leaders will hold meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, after the bank holiday weekend.

Meanwhile, schools intending to appoint parents and members of the public in supervisory roles, in the event of an extended teachers' strike, have been advised to check their insurance cover.

A Department of Education spokeswoman said it was the "understanding" of the department that insurance cover will continue during the industrial action.

She added: "Insurance cover is a matter for individual schools."

Insurance Ireland recommended that school managers check with their provider over any "material change" to their cover.

Sunday Independent

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