Updated: 08/11/16 : 06:27:59
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Further chaos today as ASTI teachers strike

Parents and secondary school students in Sligo,, and across Ireland, are facing further chaos today as ASTI teachers take to the picket lines in the second of a series of seven one-day strikes scheduled to take place before Christmas.

In Sligo, nine schools will close today. If a school was closed during the first one-day strike on Thursday 27 October it is likely that that school will also close today.

Yesterday, the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland members claim they were locked out of schools when the reported for duty. They insist there were available to teach, but not supervise the students during breaks.

Under Health and Safety guidelines the affected schools maintain they were forced to close the schools. See link below

Yesterday, Summerhill College management stated that the effect of the ASTI directive meant that members, including most principals and deputy principals, were not available to carry out essential supervision duties before school commences in the morning, during break, at lunchtime and at the end of the school day.

In addition members of the ASTI were not available to substitute for colleagues absent on school business or for colleagues absent on uncertified sick leave.

The Board of Management added that it is a very difficult time for everyone involved in the school community and it is their fervent wish that classes can resume as normal for all students as soon as absolutely possible.

Supervisors

In Ireland, about 500 second-level schools, adversely affecting over 250,000 students will be forced to shut today because of the strike and are unsure when the schools will reopen as from tomorrow the dispute over supervision returns.

Most schools claim they have not had enough time to recruit external supervisors to replace ASTI members in this work, while the union also refused to allow ASTI principals to help make such arrangements.

While today's one-day strike is about seeking restoration of pay equality for new teachers, the indefinite withdrawal from supervision and substitution is linked to the ASTI's refusal to continue to work the 33 Croke Park productivity hours - one hour a week.

Education Minister Richard Bruton said it was "bitterly disappointing that this dispute, which is about working one hour a week in the 33 weeks that teachers are working, has led to the closures".

Link: Sligo Today 7/11/2016