Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 14/11/2014. Tags: Education And Politics Teachers Parents
Statement from ASTI & TUI
The ASTI Standing Committee and TUI Executive Committee today voted to take a day’s strike action on Tuesday December 2nd and a further day of strike action in January 2015, the date to be decided, over the Junior Cycle impasse.
Both unions – which represent 27,000 second level teachers – already have a strong mandate for industrial action following ballots of membership.
The unions welcomed the shift in position by the Department of Education and Skills on some issues in recent negotiations, but issues of critical importance were not resolved. The threat posed to educational standards by the introduction of internal assessment remains and the issue of the capacity of schools to cope with the magnitude of such change was not addressed by the Department.
On Tuesday, the unions called for direct Ministerial intervention that would allow resumption of the discussions, particularly in relation to matters such as capacity of schools. Regrettably, this has not taken place, and the executive bodies of both unions decided to represent the overwhelming views of teachers and use their mandate to take strike action.
Teachers favour positive, appropriately planned and fully resourced improvement and consistently campaign for this. They have reiterated their support for improvements to the Junior Cycle, but serious objections and concerns about aspects of the new programme remain. Notwithstanding the progress made in the recent negotiations, this is unacceptable.
The OECD’s Government At A Glance 2013 report shows that out of 34 countries, public satisfaction with the education system and schools was highest in Ireland. The unions believe that such public trust will be put at serious risk if misguided changes are made in relation to school based assessment and if the very critical issue of capacity is not fully and appropriately addressed.