A decision by the ASTI to recommend industrial action ahead of its ballot to its members “is very worrying”, Donegal TD Charlie McConalogue has stated.
“Students, especially those heading into their Junior Cert and Leaving Cert year, do not need the additional stress of industrial action by their teachers hanging over their heads,” he added.
McConalogue (pictured) has called on the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton and senior ASTI officials to come together to prevent the closure of schools across Donegal following the decision by the union to ballot its members on industrial action as part of its ongoing dispute over pay for new entrants and substitution and supervision hours.
“Minister Bruton must encourage the union back to the talks table so that an agreement can be reached and this threat of action can be dispelled.
“This continuous unrest between the ASTI and the Government cannot be allowed to continue.”
He said there is an onus on Minister Bruton to meet with the union and find a solution to this dispute. “Students must be prioritised,” he said, adding: “Minister Bruton needs to publicly back an agreement that will enshrine equal pay for newly qualified teachers. This will convince teachers that the government is serious about addressing pay inequality within the public sector and remove the threat of action at schools across Donegal and around the country”.