Leitrim secondary schools close as ASTI strike action begins

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Reporter:

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Teachers protesting outside Carrick-on-Shannon Community School

Pictured are teachers protesting outside Carrick-on-Shannon Community School this morning. Adrian Jackson, Principal; Fiona McGreal and Paul Byrne.

Members of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) are protesting outside schools across Co Leitrim today in pursuit of equal pay for newly-qualified teachers.

Today's action is the first in a series of seven days of strike action on the issue.

“Ireland’s youngest and brightest second-level teachers are being targeted and demoralised through unequal pay,” ASTI President Ed Byrne told the Leitrim Observer.

“An ASTI teacher starting in 2016 is earning €8,000 less than the 2010 teachers’ starting salary. This salary gap continues year after year. The Government’s failure to commit to achieving equal pay for young and recently qualified teachers is most alarming. The implications for education and for society are far reaching”.

“Embedding inequality in the teaching profession can only lead to widespread morale issues amongst teachers,” continued the ASTI President “At best teachers will feel devalued, at worst the most talented and dedicated will leave the profession or the country. Students will lose out.”