Five things we learned from the first day of strike action by teachers
With up to 18,000 teachers taking to the picket line to protest about pay conditions today, the Government don’t appear to be backing down.
Here's everything we learned from today:
1. Minister for Education hit back at claims pay-cut threat was “provoking”
The Association of Secondary Teachers’ in Ireland (ASTI) are threatening to withdraw from supervision and substitution on November 7, which is likely to cause about 500 schools to close.
Minister Bruton insisted that if this takes place, teachers will not be paid, which sparked a reaction from ASTI members – who accused the Minister for Education of “provoking” them.
Speaking on Today with Sean O’Rourke this morning, Minister Bruton stated this wasn’t the case.
"They have also decided to withdraw from supervision. Substitution and supervision are a core part of the teachers’ duties. They have made a decision to withdraw from those core duties.
"We are just making clear what are well established rules of industrial relations practice. Withdrawing from core duties results in the closure of schools and you are not entitled to be paid for that.”
2. Some parents aren’t happy
Parents are worried about the cost of childcare and the educational impact of teachers' strikes.
David Doran, whose daughter is in second year, told Independent.ie: "I don't think this strike is necessary. It feels like the teachers are getting on the bandwagon like the bus drivers did.
“Dialogue is needed now. It's really ridiculous that the kids are losing out and are not being educated.”
3. Teachers insist public are behind them
Teachers who were picketing in force from 8am in the Dublin this morning told Independent.ie they have received "only positive support" from the public in their strike over pay.
4. ASTI deny claims they are using students as pawns in debate over pay
ASTI president Ed Byrne defended the strike action by teachers this morning on Newstalk Breakfast.
“Every teacher in a classroom cares about their students - they do not use them as pawns,” he said.
“It [the strike] certainly has highlighted an inequity in the system. One lady in your vox pop says she doesn't like the idea of a strike - neither do I. The people we are fighting for were children six years ago. They are now out with honours degrees and they being paid significantly less than those who started before them.”
5. Pressure is mounting on the Government
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 today.
TDs are putting increased pressure on the Government about the other proposed strikes, with Fianna Fáil’s Dara Calleary insisting that neither teachers nor gardaí trust the Government to treat them fairly.