Second level school management bodies will advertise job vacancies tomorrow in national newspapers for the supervision of students in schools during the ASTI industrial action.

School managers met Department of Education officials earlier today to discuss contingency arrangements to help schools stay open when ASTI members withdraw from supervision and substitution duties from 7 November.

The department has issued a statement acknowledging that widespread school closures are now inevitable.

External personnel will be recruited to supervise pupils on school premises, in classrooms and in the school yard.

Payment will be a minimum of €38.36 per day, based on a minimum of two hours supervision.

Any additional supervision will be paid at a rate of €19.18 per hour.

The department has already indicated that it could take between five and nine weeks to get personnel in place. Successful applicants will have to be trained and also be vetted by An Garda Síochána.

There is currently a backlog in vetting applications.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the Teachers' Union of Ireland will meet later this week to decide how TUI members working in so-called dual-union schools will respond in the event of strike action by members of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland.

The first in a series of seven one-day strikes is due to take place next week.

The principals of the country's 97 community and comprehensive schools, which are largely dual union, will also meet this week to try and work out contingency arrangements.

The joint managerial body, which oversees around half the country's post-primary schools, says its sector, almost entirely composed of ASTI membership, is facing widespread closures.

Many schools run by the Education and Training Boards have largely TUI staff and will not be affected at all.

But there are a further 160 or so schools that are dual union.

Most of them are community and comprehensive schools and their principals will meet in Mullingar, Adare, and Sligo on Thursday and Friday to examine options.

Whether or not these schools will be able to stay open, or even partially open, for sixth year students for example, depends very much on individual school circumstances, such as the proportion of staff in each union.

It also depends on the stance the TUI decides to take, particularly whether the union allows its members to take on duties normally done by ASTI colleagues. The TUI leadership hopes to meet on Friday to decide on this.

The union affiliation of individual school principals in these dual union schools is also an important factor. ASTI school principals will not be cooperating with any attempts to set up contingency arrangements in schools.

The principals of several dual union schools have stressed that they are keen to do nothing that will damage staff relations into the future.

They say the dispute is a national issue, and must be resolved at that level.

"Our colleagues are our colleagues", said one, adding "we will all be working together again when this is over".

Second level school management bodies are due to meet Department of Education officials tomorrow to discuss contingency arrangements.

The ASTI will also meet the Department of Education.

ETB Ireland represents the Education and Training Boards, which has 62 dual union schools.

ETBI says it is currently surveying its schools to determine the proportion of ASTI members in each and to identify the ones most at risk of closure.

Expert warns LRA could unravel

Meanwhile, an industrial relations expert has said the Lansdowne Road Agreement on public sector pay could unravel if the Government backs down in the dispute over pay with gardaí and teachers.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Bill Roche, Professor of Industrial Relations at Michael Smurfit Business School in UCD, described the disputes as very serious and said that if the Government gives way that it would have a knock-on affect for all other unions who have already accepted the agreement.

"Up to now, how the government have been trying to approach this issue, plan A if you like, has been to try to arrive at deals with groups that are outside the Lansdowne Road Agreement process, with a view to trying to shore up Lansdowne Road and preserve the schedule for pay restoration involved in that whilst over the medium-term trying to put in place a commission on public service pay that will try to fix this issue beyond the current situation.

"But that now has run into very serious difficulties in the light of these two disputes. Were the Government to be seen to back down, so to speak, in either of these cases then the Lansdowne Road framework, I think, would quite simply unravel."