[Sinn Fein]

9 January 2001

Teachers' dispute: Second-largest local authority calls for talks without preconditions

South Dublin County Council - the second-largest local authority in the State - has backed a Sinn Fein motion urging the Government to open talks, without preconditions, with the secondary teachers' union to solve the pay dispute.

The Sinn Fein motion was tabled by Councillor Seán Crowe at Monday night's meeting.

It supports a negotiated settlement and urges the Government ``to provide a negotiating forum outside the Partnership for Prosperity and Fairness to allow for talks, without preconditions, to ensure that the quality of education of the children of the nation is too important to be imperilled by a prolonged industrial dispute''.

Cllr Crowe said:

``Students and parents are under increasing strain coming up to the exams.  The Government has a responsibility to find a solution and they should hold talks with the teachers, without preconditions, to get this sorted out.''

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