Sunday 4 December 2016

Students being held to ransom in pay row

Published 27/10/2016 | 02:30

'Compounding one wrong by heaping another upon it is a strange way to go about establishing a right' Picture: Arthur Carron
'Compounding one wrong by heaping another upon it is a strange way to go about establishing a right' Picture: Arthur Carron

There is something to be said for the Chinese proverb, "he who strikes first has lost the argument". The closure of hundreds of our schools and the threat by gardaí to take industrial action are clear challenges to our concept of social solidarity. They both speak to failure at several levels. The proposed action by gardaí is a threat to the security of the State. But both actions will punish people who have nothing to do with these disputes.

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There will be losers across the board. That there is a ground root of injustice concerning the two-tier pay system, as outlined by the ASTI, is not in question. But compounding one wrong by heaping another upon it is a strange way to go about establishing a right.

Students all over the country find their schools closed today. They should not be held to ransom, they have no part in the argument, yet it is they who will suffer. The same might be said for all those who depend on the gardaí to uphold law and order.

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