Updated: 09/11/16 : 05:25:15
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Schools reopen as teachers' dispute suspended

There has been a breakthrough in the teachers' dispute which will see all secondary schools reopen today, Wednesday.

The union involved, ASTI, accepted an invitation last night from the chair of the Teachers' Conciliation Council, Anna Perry, to attend talks with her today.

ASTI members will be available for teaching and supervision and substitution duties today and for the duration of the talks.

Around 500 schools were closed yesterday, including nine in Sligo, due to the ASTI strike action.

The disputes centre on pay scales for new entrants, and for payment for supervision and substitution duties.

The two sides will meet Ms Perry separately for initial talks to explore possible solutions to the disputes, which have seen hundreds of schools closed for three days over the past number of weeks.

Withdrawal

The union has suspended both its one-day strikes over the issue of pay for more recently qualified teachers, and also its withdrawal from the supervision of students.

Minister for Education Richard Bruton has welcomed the invitation to talks and also the ASTI's decision to suspend industrial action.

In a statement the Department of Education confirmed it has accepted an invitation from Ms Perry to meet today.

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach has said the Government will continue to stand by the Lansdowne Road Agreement ahead of further talks with public sector trade unions on the issue of pay.