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ASTI to ballot on industrial action

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 05/09/2016. ASTI to ballot on industrial actionTags: Teachers Education And Politics

The ASTI announced it is to conduct two separate ballots on industrial action.
Members will be balloted on industrial action up to and including strike action over new teachers’ pay. In a separate ballot, over measures applied to ASTI members following their rejection of the Lansdowne Road Agreement, members will be asked to vote on withdrawal from supervision and substitution duties.
The announcement follows a weekend meeting of the union’s 180-member Central Executive Council in Dublin.
Ballot on New Teachers’ Pay:
Teachers who entered the profession after 2010 are on different pay scales than their colleagues even though they have the same duties and responsibilities. The ASTI has been campaigning on this issue for the past number of years and earlier this year announced that it would ballot its members on industrial action if the Government failed to restore the common pay scale for all teachers by the end of August. The union will now ballot its members on industrial action up to and including strike action.
Speaking at the weekend ASTI General Secretary Kieran Christie said: “New and recently qualified teachers are not only faced with years of casual short-term contracts, but an inferior rate of pay for doing the exact same work as their colleagues. Our goal is simple: we want equal pay for equal work. The message from our Central Executive Council today is that they are prepared to take strike action on this issue.”
Ballot on Lansdowne Road Agreement/measures taken against ASTI members:
ASTI members rejected the Lansdowne Road Agreement in 2015. Subsequently, ASTI members voted to withdraw from the Croke Park Hours, following the completion of the Haddington Road Agreement. The Department of Education and Skills has responded by implementing a range of measures for ASTI members including non-payment of monies due in recognition of supervision and substitution work, the freezing of pay increments, and the removal of access to Contracts of Indefinite Duration after two years for recently qualified teachers. The union will now ballot its members on withdrawal from supervision and substitution duties.

 ASTI President Ed Byrne said: “The withdrawal by ASTI members from the unproductive Croke Park hours has not affected the running of schools or students’ education. The response of the Department of Education in withdrawing pay from ASTI members and targeting young teachers in precarious employment is a considerable over-reaction. As a trade union we must respond to this most serious escalation of this dispute by the Department. We must now give a strong message to the Government that this treatment is unacceptable.”
The two ballots will take place in the coming weeks with results due by mid-October.
At the meeting the ASTI also decided to hold a lunchtime protest over reforms to the Junior Cycle. The union is currently undertaking industrial action on this issue in order to highlight concerns such as the lack of an oral exam for modern languages and the lack of ordinary and higher level options in most subjects. The ASTI is currently engaged in industrial action on the new Junior Cycle and has a mandate to escalate this up to strike action.
The ASTI represents 18,000 second-level teachers.

Source: ASTI Press Release



(05-09-2016 13:31)

Minister responds to statement from ASTI

inister Bruton expressed disappointment at the decision of the ASTI to ballot its members on industrial action.

The Minister reiterated his genuine belief that continuing dialogue between his Department and the ASTI would be in the best interests of schools, parents, students and teachers as is evidenced by the agreements reached with the INTO and TUI on issues of mutual concern. It is regrettable that ASTI seem determined to pursue a route of confrontation rather than dialogue.

The Minister reiterated his Departments offer that if ASTI suspend their directive to withdraw from the Croke Park hours, then the Department would suspend the implementation of measures associated with the repudiation of the Lansdowne Road Agreement. The Minister believes that this would provide a more constructive context for talks to take place. It would also mean that thousands of ASTI teachers would receive the payment for supervision and substitution as well as other benefits and protections, under the Lansdowne Road agreement. ASTI previously refused this offer.

The Minister emphasised that his Department remains available to meet with ASTI to discuss their issues of concern, including issues relating to new entrant pay. The INTO and the TUI have had a series of meetings with the Department of Education and Public Expenditure since July to fully scope out the issues relating to pay arrangements for newly qualified teachers recruited since 1 February 2012. This engagement has been taking place in the context of both unions acceptance of the Lansdowne Road Agreement, and having regard to the recent agreement in respect of fire-fighters in local government. The parties have reported productive progress in the discussions to date and the aim is to conclude the current discussions by early this month. -

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