Belfast Telegraph

ASTI to pursue industrial action

Secondary school teachers have vowed to follow through with industrial action over pay cuts by refusing to work outside normal hours.

The Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland, which last week revealed its members had rejected the Haddington Road agreement, will not meet parents before or after school.

They will also refuse to hold planning and policy development meetings and in-service training unless it is during the school day.

The 17,000 members of the union plan to begin the industrial action on October 2.

The decision was announced after leaders of the ASTI met to discuss enforcing a ballot of teachers in favour of the action, up to and including a strike.

General secretary Pat King said teachers are anxious not to disrupt their students' education but the vote had been two to one in support of the action.

"The loss of classroom teachers from schools, the withdrawal of guidance services, the axing of middle management posts, the tying up of teachers' time and energy with extra administrative work - these are the actions that have disrupted and damaged the education of our young people in recent years," he said.

"Despite the fact that vital resources have been stripped from schools, ASTI members signed up to and delivered more for less under the Croke Park Agreement only to find the Government reneging on its promises under the same Agreement."

The ASTI said its members are being directed not to undertake any duties arising from vacant middle management posts unless they receive pensionable pay for the work.

Other teaching unions, including the INTO and the Teachers' Union of Ireland, have supported the Haddington Road agreement which will change pay and working regimes across the public service.

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