Education: Union fears imminent loss of 560 teacher jobs
More then 560 teaching jobs will be lost within months, a teachers' union has claimed.
Around 1,500 teaching and support staff jobs are expected to be lost in the education sector as a result of budget cuts.
The Irish National Teachers' Organisation (Into) claimed the figure of more than 560 teachers could go in the next six months.
It has claimed that language specialists will be losing their jobs in April, over 200 teaching posts will be lost in June and a further 270 will be made redundant in September.
Into chief Gerry Murphy said he fears the total job losses will be even higher.
The union is set to launch a campaign of industrial action short of strike in protest.
"These job losses are made up of around 270 teacher redundancies from schools, the loss of 200 signature project posts, throwing young teachers from a period of certainty to one of scrambling for any substitute work going, and finally the loss of over 90 language specialists employed by the education and library boards," he said.
"All of these job losses will not be voluntary and we predict the total figure will be much higher."
Education Minister John O'Dowd responded by blaming the Westminster government for the cuts.
"There is justifiable anger and frustration at these measures and while I have attempted to protect frontline services, maintaining current levels of service is simply not deliverable," he said.
"I will continue to listen to and work with all the teacher and education unions, however there is a challenge for all of us, that is to work together to build an alternative to austerity."