Schools to close due to ASTI strike action

Some 525 schools across the country are preparing to close on Thursday 27th October, due to strike action by the ASTI. Although last-minute talks are scheduled to take place today, Wednesday 26th October, it now appears overwhelmingly likely that Thursday’s strike – the first of seven strike days between now and December – will go ahead.

ASTI members are taking industrial action on the issue of pay for newly qualified teachers. The scheduled strike days are: Thursday October 27th, Tuesday 8th November, Wednesday 16th November, Thursday 24th November, Tuesday 29th November, Tuesday 6th December and Wednesday 7th December.

Additionally, ASTI members will withdraw from supervision and substitution duties from Monday 7th November on. This has emerged as a greater concern in recent days, as school management bodies have estimated that up to 400 schools will be unable to re-open after the midterm break due to health and safety reasons. “We are very concerned that it now seems unlikely that boards of management will be in a position to re-open after the midterm break,” said John Curtis of the Joint Managerial Body, which is responsible for half the country’s secondary schools.

Speaking today, Minister for Education Richard Bruton said it would be very difficult for some schools to remain open if the ASTI industrial action goes ahead.

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