Schools set to close indefinitely from tomorrow

Talks adjourned without agreement and ASTI have indicated that their directive on withdrawing from supervision and substitution duties from Monday still stands.

Schools set to close indefinitely from tomorrow

The Department of Education and Skills held further discussions with the ASTI today. This follows on from meetings earlier this week and last week.

Talks adjourned without agreement and ASTI have indicated that their directive on withdrawing from supervision and substitution duties from Monday still stands.

This means that hundreds of secondary schools will not open tomorrow, and will not be able to open for an indefinite period.

Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton said: "I am very disappointed that ASTI have decided to proceed with their action tomorrow. This will cause huge disruption for 200,000 students, and their parents, with particular stress caused for those in exam years.

“ASTI have effectively decided to close hundreds of schools indefinitely, as a result of a dispute which essentially relates to one hour a week of additional duties."

The ASTI tonight said it is regrettable that tomorrow’s planned withdrawal from supervision and substitution will go ahead despite the union’s participation in talks with the Department of Education and Skills over the past week.

The union said that no progress has been made on key issues.

Teachers who are members of the ASTI will turn up for work as normal tomorrow but will not engage in supervision and substitution duties.

The industrial action follows the withdrawal of payment in recognition of supervision and substitution work from ASTI members.

Other teachers who are not members of the ASTI are receiving the payment.

The ASTI said it will continue to maintain contacts with the Department of Education and Skills tomorrow and in the coming days with a view to resolving the issues.

Diarmaid de Paor, Deputy General Secretary of the ASTI, said very little progress was made tonight: “Our members will be available for work. They’ll turn up and if students are in the schools they will teach them as normal.

“Unfortunately, after lengthy discussions practically every day for the last week, ourselves and Department of Education haven’t been able to come to an agreement so very unfortunately the industrial action will go ahead in the morning.”

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