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'It's not changeable': Tánaiste and Howlin say no renegotiation of Haddington Road

The two Labour ministers’ comments come in the wake of ASTI members rejecting the public sector pay deal.

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PUBLIC EXPENDITURE AND Reform Minister Brendan Howlin and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore have ruled out any renegotiation of the Haddington Road deal on public sector pay and conditions in the wake of secondary school teachers’ rejection of the agreement.

Around 17,000 teachers affiliated to the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) are to undertake industrial from next week with members to withdraw from meetings outside of normal school hours.

Howlin told reporters on his way into a Cabinet meeting in Dublin this morning that the €300 million savings from the Haddington Road deal are needed and part of the budgetary arithmetic.

“So I’d ask people to reflect upon it,” he said. “None of this is easy, none of the work that we’re doing is easy, but it’s not changeable.”

He described the education system as “one of the drivers of our recovery” and pointed out that he majority of teachers had accepted the deal;

Gilmore said that he hoped whatever action is taken by teachers will not impact on students and pointed out that the deal had been negotiated with all unions.

Asked if the deal with unions will be renegotiated, he said simply: “No, Haddington Road will not be renegotiated.”

- with reporting and videos by Nicky Ryan

ASTI boss: Teachers’ action is “not about pay”

Read: ASTI industrial action to begin on 2 October

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