PARENTS and pupils face a nationwide school shutdown after teachers announced a series of one-day strikes over the festive season.
Secondary teachers are set to take a day’s strike action on Tuesday December 2, with a second date – to be decided- in January over a proposed revamp of the Junior Cert.
Members of the ASTI and TUI’s executive committees voted this morning to hold the work stoppages after rejecting the latest proposals on reforming the exam.
The unions, representing 27,000 second level teachers, said they have a strong mandate for industrial action after balloting their members over the “impasse”.
They said issues of critical importance had not been resolved at talks, which broke down on Tuesday.
They said this included a threat to educational standards posed by a plan to set up internal assessment and the capacity of schools to cope with this change.
Fianna Fail spokesperson on Education Charlie McConalogue called on the Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan to step in to halt the work stoppages.
He said her u-turn on the original reform plan on the issue of independent assessment provided a strong basis to develop a reform plan to serve students well.
He claimed former minister Ruairi Quinn had mishandled negotiations on the reforms by publishing initial proposals without consulting the unions.
“His dictatorial and obstinate approach soured relations with the unions and made for a fraught negotiations process,” he said.