Unfortunately we have a situation where a lot of our local secondary schools are closed this week due to an industrial dispute. It is my view that the ASTI should have a long hard look at where they are going on this. At the end of the day, there are children out there who are doing their Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations and they must get priority.One proposal that could work and that can be done would be for the ASTI to commit to providing cover so that Junior and… Leaving Certificate students can attend classes while this dispute is going on. We saw the Gardai making commitments last week that they would provide cover for airports and ports and in other areas and The ASTI could easily make similar arrangements.
Leaving Certificate students in particular are depending on this exam to secure their future and they cannot be without classes for any significant length of time. To provide classes for these students would show a bit of common sense because the situation as it stands is putting huge pressure and hardship on families. The ASTI should reflect on why the TUI and INTO are within the current pay frame agreement. Finally I am aware of teachers who are not a part of any union at all and the Government must ensure that they are treated the same as the teachers who are in the current agreement.