Saturday 20 January 2018

Possible breakthrough reached in teachers' dispute

Teachers on strike at in St David's in Greystones
Teachers on strike at in St David's in Greystones
Daire Courtney

Daire Courtney

A breakthrough may have been reached between teachers’ unions and the government early this morning during coalition talks.

Union leaders told RTÉ News that a document was being finalised as they left the talks around one o’clock this morning.

They did not confirm whether talks would resume or elaborate on the content of the document

In a statement today the ASTI confirmed: "Talks aimed at ending the current industrial relations disputes between the ASTI and the Department of Education and Skills adjourned early this morning.

"It is expected that documents will be finalised shortly and will be issued by the chair of Teachers’ Conciliation Council Ms Anna Perry for consideration by the parties."

These talks included the ASTI, the TUI and the INTO, as well as the Department of Education and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

It is understood that the document is now being circulated to the three unions. It will now need to be approved by the ASTI Standing Committee.

The dispute between the ASTI and the Department of Education stems from a range of issues including pay restoration for new teachers, pay for supervision and substitution hours, and the ASTI’s rejection of the new Junior Cycle framework.

The dispute saw hundreds of secondary schools close for a number of days during October and November. The ASTI halted strike action when this set of talks began earlier this month.

The closures affected as many as 8,000 students, and the dispute over the Junior Cycle could see students lose 10pc of their English marks if they are unable to undertake the new classroom-based assessment.

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