THE Christmas salaries of 16,500 Irish teachers will be "docked" for the days that they are working to rule.
The decision to dock their pay, due on December 21, has added fuel to an increasingly bitter row over a 30 per cent pay rise demand by the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland.
As well as going on strike for two days starting last week, the teachers are banning supervision at breaktime and substitution for bsent colleagues on six other days. They say this work is voluntary and unpaid but the Government insists that it is not.
The teachers' actions threaten to destabilise a national pay agreement with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions as well as the notion of social partnership which has helped fuel the Celtic Tiger economy.
Public support for their action is down from 58 to 43 per cent backing in the latest opinion poll.