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Minister for Education Richard Bruton says it will be difficult to keep schools open during strike

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
Richard Bruton
Richard Bruton

The Minister for Education Richard Bruton has said it will be very difficult to keep schools open next month after second level teachers withdraw from supervision and substitution duties.

Members of the ASTI are scheduled to stop carrying out supervision and substitution roles in schools from November 7.

Separately, the union is also to stage seven days of strikes between late October and early December in protest at lower pay rates for recently-recruited teachers.

Mr Bruton said the ASTI had refused a request from the Government for time to recruit other personnel to carry out these roles and to permit school principals to supervise such appointents before they withdraw from supervision and substitution duties.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week, Mr Bruton said: “It is going to be very difficult, in effect, to keep the schools open.”

“The principal is the CEO of the organisation. Even if we get people in, if the CEO is not instructing how they are to be deployed, or what they are to do or to ensure that the children are safe in those times, it will be very difficult to do that.”

The Department of Education has invited the ASTI to attend new talks next week.