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Statement from Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane on Classroom assistants’ Dispute

8 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane MLA has issued a statement about the classroom assistants' dispute and the current consultation between the unions and their members on the progress made in recent negotiations.

Ms Ruane said:

''I understand that significant progress has been made in recent negotiations and that three of the four unions involved in the collective negotiating process are currently consulting with their members about the full terms of the proposed offer. I am glad those unions are giving the proposed offer the consideration it deserves.

"I want to reiterate that I have the utmost respect for classroom assistants and the job that they do. I am aware that Management Side has also issued an open letter to all classroom assistants explaining in detail the full terms of the offer. I would urge everyone to give the offer their full consideration.

"In light of the improved offer of 28th September I would call on those engaged in industrial action to desist from any action that places the burden of the disagreement onto those children and families who most need help." ENDS

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