Secondary schools face strike action
Thousands of secondary schools may be facing strike action as the main secondlevel teachers’ union is to ballot its members for industrial action over unequal pay. The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) has voted to ballot the union’s 17,000-plus members on industrial action over the unequal pay of teachers who entered the profession since 2010.
However, if a mandate for strike action is secured, this will only take place as part of a co-ordinated campaign with at least one other teachers’ union. ASTI last took industrial action, including strike action, over unequal pay in 2016. While the union says there have been improvements since, unequal pay remains despite ongoing campaigning by the ASTI and other teacher unions. The Teachers Union of Ireland is also set to take strike action over unequal pay on February 4, days before the general election. Any action potentially to be taken by the ASTI will be after this date. ASTI president Deirdre MacDonald said: “It is unthinkable that in 2020 some teachers have inferior pay arrangements even though they are doing the same work as their colleagues in the next classroom.”