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School strike set to go ahead despite talks

Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 15/01/2015. School strike set to go ahead despite talksTags: Education And Politics Parenting

A joint statement from the ASTI/TUI yesterday has said that despite talks between the teacher unions and the Dept of Education, schools will be closed on Thursday, the 22nd of January, because of strike action.

The statement outlines that although the unions did support new changes to the Junior cycle, they opposed the changes in the marking system.

According to their statement:
“Teachers support a first class Junior Cycle for all students, including a move away from a reliance on final written examinations and the promotion of different types of assessment, including more practical, project and portfolio work.

“Regrettably, there remains a considerable difference between the two respective positions.”

Minister Jan O'Sullivan, who met with unions yesterday, repeated her call for unions to ‘halt the planned one day strike’ set for Thursday the 22nd. According to a press release from Dept of Education, the Minister commented:

“Unfortunately substantial progress was not achieved at today’s talks. There is a significant gap between both sides and I am still waiting on the teacher unions to respond in kind to the fair and reasonable compromise I tabled in November.”

She added:

“Today I strongly repeated my call to both teacher unions to halt the one day strike in our schools they have announced for January 22nd next. This action is entirely disproportionate. It will result in our second-level students missing another day at school, cause inconvenience to parents across the country and result in teachers losing another day’s pay. There is no basis for this strike action – I have moved significantly to achieve agreement and both sides should seriously engage in negotiation on that basis. This dispute will not be advanced one iota by continued strike action.

“Junior Cycle reform is necessary and overdue. Parents’ organisations, the Irish Second Level Students Union, management bodies and a wide range of education experts are fully supportive of my reform package. Industrial action should cease as I believe that more detailed talks can result in progress.”


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