The Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan has told the teachers unions that the ball is in their court as they prepare to stage a one-day strike over planned reform of the Junior Certificate.
The proposed strike will apparently see over 720 secondary schools close today which will result in 350,000 secondary school students staying at home.
The Department of Education has claimed that they have moved as far as they can to allay the teachers’ concerns.
Mrs O’Sullivan says that having all but moved to 60% of the way towards teachers’ demands, she is now being informed that they will come to an agreement if she and the department move another 40%. Ms O’Sullivan has criticized the unions and has stated that this not up for negotiation.
The Unions have strongly stated that they are resolute and united in their opposition to plans for Junior Cycle reform. It is believed that the unions are upset and outraged at the proposed plans that will require pupils to be assessed by their own teachers for 40% of their work instead of an external examiner.
However, Teachers who oppose the strike can still report for work today so as not to be docked a day’s pay.