School closures loom as ASTI votes for industrial action

Members of Ireland’s largest second-level teachers’ union have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action up to and including strike action in two ballots, the results of which were announced today. The ASTI’s Central Executive Committee had agreed to ballot members on two separate issues: the issue of pay for newly-qualified teachers; and withdrawal from supervision and substitution duties. In both cases, the ASTI recommended that members vote in favour of industrial action.

On the issue of pay for newly-qualified teachers, turnout was 77{6a0c756c1737f4c8ed1de5e3da828d9971bd449c577ad2ce21974011d179d728}, with 80{6a0c756c1737f4c8ed1de5e3da828d9971bd449c577ad2ce21974011d179d728} of votes in favour of industrial action. A separate ballot on the worsening of terms and conditions following the ASTI’s rejection of the Lansdowne Road Agreement showed a turnout of 73{6a0c756c1737f4c8ed1de5e3da828d9971bd449c577ad2ce21974011d179d728}, with 78{6a0c756c1737f4c8ed1de5e3da828d9971bd449c577ad2ce21974011d179d728} of those who turned out voting in favour of industrial action up to and including withdrawal of supervision and substitution.

Strike action now appears likely in up to 525 schools nationwide. Although the 23-member ASTI Standing Committee will discuss the ballot results tomorrow, ASTI President Ed Byrne said he expects school closures in early November.

“Today’s ballot results demonstrate the depth of feeling amongst second-level teachers who have endured years of pay cuts and deteriorating terms and conditions. Teachers do not embark on industrial action lightly and strike action is always a very last resort,” Mr Byrne said.

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