ASTI president warns of industrial action as schools notified of 'surplus staff'

It is reported today that dozens of schools have received letters from the government, notifying them of their 'surplus staff'.

It follows the withdrawal of a protection for such staff members, which sees them redeployed, rather than lose their job.

The government changed the rule after the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) rejected proposals aimed at ending their long running dispute.

The head of the ASTI believes his members would back industrial action - up to and including strikes - if even one teacher is told they are losing their job.

Up until now such teachers were redeployed, but there are fears that some could now be made redundant instead.

ASTI president Ed Byrne believes any job losses would be a serious development for the whole public sector.

“All the other public service trade unions would have to look at this very seriously.

“If the Rubicon is crossed and a serving public servant is made redundant this year, that means forevermore you either accept what the government puts on the table with regard to these agreement or you are threatened with redundancy. That is not an equal playing field.”

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