The President of one of Ireland’s largest teachers’ unions has stated that teachers “will shut down schools” if progress on pay equality dispute is not made.
An annual conference of the three teacher unions will take place in Kerry this week and one of the hot topics is Pay equality for new entrant teachers.
The talks surrounding the issue are due to get underway by the end of April and unions want pay scales to be restored to pre-2011 levels.
John Boyle, President of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that schools would close if this restoration did not happen.
Despite agreeing with the host that progress had been made (“the gap is closing but it’s still there”), Boyle said that: “Our patience is definitely running very, very thin in relation to seven or eight years of dastardly cuts to the young teachers and we have negotiated very hard over that time.
“Certainly at the beginning of the next school year, if we don’t have pay equality negotiated by then, I believe that the members of the three unions will work closely together, and then we will be shutting down schools and withdrawing labour. We’ve never feared to negotiate; we never negotiate out of fear.”
He concluded by saying “stringent action” might be needed to show the Government that the unions are “serious” about the issue.
You can hear the full interview here with Bryan Dobson here.