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46% of Irish people support teachers as strikes set to go ahead

Teachers have planned to strike on seven days between 27 October and 7 December.

Image: Sam Boal

Updated 11.17am

JUST UNDER HALF of Irish people support the ASTI teacher strikes, with 39% disagreeing with the industrial action planned by secondary school teachers.

That’s according to a new Claire Byrne Live/Amárach Research poll for TheJournal.ie.

It comes as up to 500 schools are set to close tomorrow unless progress is made on the issue of pay scales for teachers who qualified after 2011.

When pollsters were asked Do you support the ASTI teacher strike, the results were:

  • Yes 46%
  • No 39%
  • Don’t know 15%

Further talks are ongoing today but the ASTI said there’s still a way to go before agreement is reached.

Education Minister Richard Bruton conceded on Morning Ireland that the union has not given any indication that it intends to pull back from the action.

“It’s hard to say at this this point that you could be optimistic,” he added.

The Fine Gael TD claimed there are “a substantial amount” on the negotiating table, including a pay increase for younger teachers, promotion opportunities and cash for supervision being restored.

Jane Hayes-Nally, the president of the Secondary School Student’s Union, told the same programme that pupils, especially those taking exams, are concerned about missing time.

“There will definitely be students who will be happy with the day off…. to go shopping with their friends, to go out with their parents.

The students who struggle academically are the ones who are going to hurt most from time out of class and without support from teachers.

“We feel that students should be prioritised because it affects students the most.”

Teachers have planned to strike on seven days between 27 October and 7 December over pay issues for younger colleagues who are earning less than their colleagues for the same work – and often with higher qualifications.

With reporting by Sinéad O’Carroll

Read: Eight out of ten people think lower paid gardaí, teachers and nurses should have their pay increased

Read: The Teachers’ Union of Ireland won’t be doing the work of its striking colleagues

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