Friday 20 April 2018

ASTI planning wave of one-day strikes in secondary schools in opposition to Junior Cert reform

Outgoing Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan. Photo: Tom Burke
Outgoing Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan. Photo: Tom Burke
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

ASTI members objecting to Junior Cert changes are now planning a wave of one-day strikes that will close up to 500 schools, forcing 250,000 students to stay a home.

The Association of Secondary Teachers’ Ireland (ASTI) is ratcheting up its campaign of resistance against the reforms, with stoppages threatened  from September.

The other second- level teachers’ union, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI),  has signed up for the new-style junior cycle and are currently  being trained.

But ASTI hardliners are pushing  a ‘no compromise‘  stance   and  the union’s powerful Standing Committee took the  decision ,in principle, on strike action,  at a meeting yesterday.

The split in the union positions means that some will be  teaching   new junior cycle subjects such as coding  in September, while others will be closed by strike

The ASTI move comes in the wake of a recent circular from the Department  of Education setting out the arrangements for the implementation of the new junior cycle.

The outgoing minster for education,Jan O’Sullivan took a decision some months ago that the changes  must  be implemented, notwithstanding the ASTI position.

The minister said the minority  of  the ASTI who voted against the last set of compromise proposals would not be allowed exercise a veto over change.

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