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ASTI votes to extend industrial action over Junior Cycle


Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 07/10/2014. ASTI votes to extend industrial action over Junior CycleTags: Education And Politics Parenting


(ASTI Press Release below)
ASTI members have voted overwhelmingly to extend the union’s industrial action over plans by the Minister for Education and Skills to implement the Framework for the Junior Cycle. ASTI members have voted by 84% to 16% in favour of extending industrial action, to include a one day strike and further strike action if necessary.
 
The Framework for Junior Cycle involves the abolition of the Junior Cert exam and the introduction of a school-awarded certificate based on exams set and marked by students’ own teachers. Today’s ballot result follows the announcement by the ASTI that it will attend talks with the Minister on the Framework for the Junior Cycle later this month.
 
“Strike action is always the very last resort for teachers and today’s result shows the depth of feeling amongst ASTI members that the Framework proposals will have a serious of negative impact on students’ experience of second-level education,” said Pat King, ASTI General Secretary. “We now have a clear message for the Minister: teachers are not prepared to implement proposals which they believe are educationally unsound. It is vital that the Minister engages with the teacher unions in a way that ensures teachers’ concerns are heard and addressed.”
 
ASTI President Philip Irwin said: “The outcome of this ballot reflects the deep concern ASTI members have that the abolition of the Junior Cert exam and its replacement with a school exam marked by students’ own teachers represents a running down of Junior Cycle education which will result in a decline in student motivation due to the diminished status of the exam. This is not only the concern of teachers, but of many parents too. We believe it is possible to transform the Junior Cycle and to provide students with a truly modern, cutting edge education experience without losing what works and what is highly valued by parents and teachers.”
 
The Framework for the Junior Cycle is being implemented in second-level schools on a phased basis starting from this school year.
 
Members of the ASTI and TUI – approximately 27,000 second-level teachers – are currently engaged in industrial action in the form of non co-operation with the introduction and implementation of the Framework. Today’s ASTI ballot result means that both second-level teacher unions now have a mandate to extend the current industrial action to include strike action.


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