Latest: 'No more offers' warns Minister as teachers' industrial action looms

Update 6pm: Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton has warned that no further offers will be made to ASTI teachers after they rejected the latest round of proposals.

In a ballot of the union’s 18,300 members, ASTI members voted to reject the ‘Outcome of Talks’ proposals aimed at averting strike action by 52.5% to 47.5%, with a turnout of 75%.

"I am disappointed with the outcome of ASTI’s ballot on the comprehensive proposals put forward by the Teachers’ Conciliation Council," said Minister Bruton.

"I note the decision made by the members of the union to reject the proposals and in consequence, to reject the Lansdowne Road Agreement. It is regrettable that many ASTI members will now suffer permanent financial losses and loss of other benefits as a result of this choice.

"As I have stated previously, the proposals represented the final outcome of the process and there will be no further offer made to ASTI. The Government is committed to continuing to work with unions inside the agreement in progressing consideration of pay and conditions issues.

"The work of the Public Service Pay Commission is now underway.

"I want to reassure students and parents that the new Junior Cycle programme is proceeding in schools. Implementation plans are not impacted by the outcome of this ballot.

"Schools have been notified of a second calendar window in the 2016/17 school year to allow for the completion and submission of the Junior Cycle English Assessment Task by students who were prevented from meeting the initial deadline. The interests, rights and wellbeing of students must be paramount.

The Joint Managerial Body (JMB) , which represents almost 400 secondary schools also expressed its disappointment with the outcome of today's ASTI ballot.

"The JMB is disappointed at the result of today’s ballot and regrets that this period of uncertainty in our schools is set to continue," said JMB general secretary John Curtis.

"We are aware of the efforts put in to date to finding a resolution of this dispute and would ask that at this juncture all parties might carefully reflect on what the implications of this decision might be."

Earlier:

Members of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) have today rejected proposals from the Department of Education and Skills aimed at resolving a pay dispute.

In a ballot of the union’s 18,300 members, ASTI members voted to reject the ‘Outcome of Talks’ proposals by 52.5% to 47.5%, with a turnout of 75%.

Commenting on the result of the ballot, ASTI president Ed Byrne said: “Despite the implementation of punitive measures for ASTI members and threats of further measures, ASTI members are standing up for their most vulnerable colleagues and for their students.”

Mr Byrne said teachers who are members of the ASTI have made a difficult but courageous decision in the face of significant threats including redundancies and other unknown penalties.

“This ballot has taken place in the context of strong mandates for the continuation of our industrial action campaigns up to strike action," he said.

“In the space of 15 months we have balloted our members on five separate occasions. Our members are standing firm and telling us to continue to hold the line on Junior Cycle reform and to vigorously pursue equal pay for equal work for our young teachers.”

The ASTI’s Standing Committee will meet next week to consider the outcome of the ballot.

“Standing Committee has already outlined the direction it will be taking on future actions and will meet next week to take the necessary decisions," said Mr Byrne.

“Our students’ education is a key reason why the proposals were rejected and we will, as always, have due cognisance of the impact of any industrial action on students and their families.

“However, we believe we have a duty to protect the education of the students sitting in our classrooms today and those students who will be sitting in our classrooms in five years and beyond.”


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