28 October 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard


EIGHT out of Monaghan’s 12 second-level schools were due to close today (Thursday) as a result of the strike action being taken nationally over equality of pay for younger teachers by members of the Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland (ASTI).

It has also been indicated by spokespersons for some of the schools affected that they will more than likely have to close completely following next week’s mid-term break, if the union goes ahead with a planned withdrawal of supervision and substitution services from Monday 7th November.

The Monaghan schools that were to close today — barring what was perceived as a very unlikely 11th-hour reprieve as we went to print last night — were as follows:
Monaghan town: St Macartan’s College, St Louis Secondary, Coláiste Oiriall, and Monaghan Collegiate; Clones: Largy College; Castleblayney: Our Lady’s Secondary School; Carrickmacross: Patrician High School and St Louis Secondary School.

The schools that will not be affected are those run by the Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board where the teachers are exclusively members of the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) rather than the ASTI, and include Beech Hill College in Monaghan, Ballybay Community College, Inver College in Carrickmacross and Castleblayney College.

Although Coláiste Oiriall and Largy College are run by Cavan and Monaghan ETB (in co-operation with the Diocese of Clogher in the case of Largy), they are finding themselves obliged to close on strike days due to the mix of union membership in their teaching staff.

But it has not yet been determined whether these two schools will have to close on the days of supervision withdrawal.

The Joint Managerial Body (JMB), representing the management in about 380 schools predominantly staffed by ASTI members, has already warned that health, safety and Garda vetting issues could effectively see their schools having to close from 7th November if the open-ended threat to withdraw supervision and substitution goes ahead.

If that scenario were to come to pass the other six full-strike days planned on Tuesday 8th November, Wednesday 16th November, Thursday 24th November, Tuesday 29th November, Tuesday 6th December and Wednesday 7th December would become somewhat irrelevant in a situation where most if not all schools with full or mainly ASTI membership were closed in any case.

Meanwhile, it has also been confirmed that St Aidan’s Comprehensive in Cootehill (which is almost exclusively ASTI-staffed) will also close tomorrow and is unlikely to be in a position to open on any of the supervision withdrawal or strike days, should they go ahead.

The new Coláiste Dún an Rí in Kingscourt, however, recently opened …

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