Europe

ASTI teachers industrial action closes 60% of Irish secondary schools

Teacher industrial action in Republic of Ireland Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Teachers outside the closed Mercy Secondary School in Inchicore, Dublin

Almost 60% of secondary schools in the Republic of Ireland are closed because of industrial action by teachers.

Members of the Association of Secondary Schools (ASTI) have withdrawn from supervising students during break times.

ASTI says its members are available for normal teacher duties and are not on strike.

However, school management bodies have said that schools are being forced to close on health and safety grounds.

Most of the schools affected are in the religious-run sector.

It is not known when the schools will be able to open again.

Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Irish Education Minister Richard Bruton accused ASTI of trying to rewrite the entire approach to public pay

Talks between ASTI and the Irish education department are continuing.

Irish Education Minister Richard Bruton said that ASTI members must comply with working one extra hour per week if they want to be paid for supervision and substitution.

He added that every public servant works the extra hour.

Speaking to RTÉ, he said that ASTI are trying to rewrite the entire approach to public pay in this dispute.

President of ASTI, Ed Byrne, said that there is no sign of the dispute being resolved.

He added that using a one-size-fits-all approach with public servants was not always the best way.

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