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No movement in teachers' pay discussions ahead of next week's strike

The gardaí are not the only public servants who are currently locked in talks.

27/10/2016. ASTI Trade Unions Strikes Teachers protesting outside Loreto College in Dublin on 27 October Source: Leah Farrell

TALKS TODAY BETWEEN the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) and the Department of Education have finished with “no new developments” to report.

The talks are taking place in an attempt to stave off further industrial action by teachers over pay. They are now expected to resume tomorrow morning.

At present, just one of seven day-long strikes has gone ahead (on Thursday 27 October), although ASTI members will stop performing supervisory or substitution duties from 7 November.

This could see a situation where many schools are closed indefinitely as a result of that action due to “health and safety issues”.

The next official strike date is scheduled for Tuesday next week, 8 November.

“Both sides are out of talks now,” an ASTI spokesperson said this evening.

27/10/2016. ASTI Trade Unions Strikes Ed Byrne Source: Sam Boal

At present there are no developments. Currently, they’re finalising arrangements for more talks.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education this evening said it had “held discussions with the ASTI today in relation to issues of concern”.

These discussions have now been adjourned for the evening.  Talks are due to continue following a planned meeting of the ASTI’s standing committee which is scheduled to take place tomorrow.

Last week, in the wake of the first stoppage on 27 October, ASTI president Ed Byrne had suggested that a temporary suspension of the strike action should better pay terms be offered. That suggestion was subsequently played down by the organisation’s general secretary Kieran Christie.

“We are a long way from that, unfortunately,” Christie told RTÉ when asked directly about any possible suspension.

Read: Strike latest: GRA team to be given Labour Court recommendation this evening

Read: Health Minister to review Ireland’s policy on medicinal cannabis

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