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Saturday 10 December 2016

Half-day classes to keep schools open in dispute

Options on table include exam class-only days

Published 28/10/2016 | 02:30

Young teachers Sadhbh McCann, Aoibhheann O’Hare and Rachel Ashfield, all from Dundalk, took part in the TUI and INTO rally about pay inequality outside the Dáil last night. Photo: Tony Gavin
Young teachers Sadhbh McCann, Aoibhheann O’Hare and Rachel Ashfield, all from Dundalk, took part in the TUI and INTO rally about pay inequality outside the Dáil last night. Photo: Tony Gavin

Secondary schools are now considering partial openings if teachers go ahead with a withdrawal from supervision and substitution duties after the mid-term break.

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In the face of looming widespread closures from November 7, schools have been looking at options such as opening for half-days or bringing in exam classes only.

Yesterday, the first one-day strike by the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) shut about 250,000 students out of school.

There are no signs of any move toward resolution. But the Department of Education will re-establish contact with the ASTI today for a series of meetings to discuss issues of concern. The ASTI wants a commitment and timetable on an end to unequal pay scales in teaching.

If the row is not sorted next week, about two in three of the country's 735 second-level schools are at risk of remaining shut indefinitely.

Aside from the strikes, ASTI members will withdraw from supervision and substitution duties on Monday week. This will result in schools having to close owing to health and safety concerns.

Irish Independent

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