Monday 24 July 2017

Pressure builds on Government over teachers’ dispute

Most public servants have signed up to pay deal – Dáil told

Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD
Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD
John Downing

John Downing

A total of 23 unions, representing 300,000 public sector workers, have made good deals on pay restoration, Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald has told the Dáil.

As secondary schools remained closed across the country, opposition TDs increased pressure on the Government about this and the upcoming garda dispute.

Fianna Fáil’s Dara Calleary said 250,000 secondary school students were at home today while 17,500 secondary teachers in the ASTI union were on strike over pay equality for new teachers.

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said pay equality for young teachers recruited after 2011 had to be Government policy. She also criticised the Government for sticking to the same mantra about negotiations around the Landsdowne Road Agreement on public pay restoration.

“No disrespect – but you sound like a broken record,” the Sinn Féin deputy leader said.

Ms Fitzgerald said the vast majority of public service workers had backed Landsdowne Road for pay restoration and efforts would continue to negotiate a successor to this deal when it runs out in 2017.

Fianna Fáil’s Dara Calleary said the problem was that neither teachers nor gardaí trusted the Government to treat them fairly. He said the Government was “sleep-walking” towards big disputes in schools and in policing.

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