Teachers' unions reject further talks with Govt

The heads of the four teacher unions have announced they will not take part in any talks with the Government on the transformation agenda.

The unions say the decision of the Government to unilaterally cut pay is completely incompatible with social partnership.

In a brief statement the unions say the Government had its chance to talk last week but spurned the opportunity.

It goes on to say that "those talks are over and will not be restarted."

Meanwhile the public services committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) is meeting in Dublin today to formulate a strategy of opposition to pay cuts.

Congress has described yesterday's Budget as "too brutal, too quick and without compassion".

ICTU also says the measures announced by Finance Minister Brian Lenihan yesterday will drive the economy from recession into depression.

Congress General Secretary David Begg said the Budget offers no hope to anyone.

"This is the most right-wing Budget that I have ever experienced," Mr Begg said. "And I think it will drive us deeper into recession."

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