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Secondary school teacher strike to go ahead tomorrow 22nd January


Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 21/01/2015. Secondary school teacher strike to go ahead tomorrow 22nd JanuaryTags: Education And Politics Parenting


After talks failed to reach a positive conclusion last week when teacher unions met the Department of Education, post-primary school teachers are to strike tomorrow. Forcing over 350,000 secondary school students to stay at home.

The Dept of Education issued a a circular letter to schools outlining the arrangements for staff.

The Minister for Education, Jan O’Sullivan, told RTE, that the strike was ‘unnecessary’ and is urging them to call it off. However, speaking to the Dail yesterday, the Minister has said she has done all she can to avoid the strikes.

According to RTE’s website:

“Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland programme, TUI President Gerry Quinn said that it wasn't possible to call off the strike at this point.

Mr Quinn said that the unions had been more than reasonable with the minister and it is with great regret that the strike goes ahead, but it is necessary.

He added they were going on strike in order to create a situation where all the outstanding issues in the education sector can be addressed "in the context of a very damaged landscape in terms of cuts."

The unions are opposed to pupils being assessed by their own teachers for 40% of their work instead of by an external examiner. Tomorrow's industrial action is the second work stoppage over the Junior Cycle changes, with TUI’s Gerry Quinn warning of more strikes in the coming weeks.


Comments

SchoolDays

(22-01-2015 08:48)


ASTI/TUI Statement 22 Jan 2015

Strike action necessary to protect education standards,
equity and fairness, say union leaders

27,000 second-level teachers are taking strike action today (Thursday, January 22nd) in protest over aspects of the Framework for Junior Cycle which the Department of Education and Skills is currently implementing in second-level schools.

Todays strike action by members of the ASTI and TUI follows a day of strike action in December.

The presidents of the ASTI and TUI this morning reiterated that they are willing to engage in talks without preconditions in a bid to resolve the dispute. However, they stated that todays strike is necessary because there has been no breakthrough on teachers key concerns and because the Department of Education and Skills has refused the unions request to defer implementation of the Framework for Junior Cycle until the dispute is resolved.

Teacher unions have no option but to proceed with strike action on January 22ndas to date talks have not produced a breakthrough. We already have an independent, objective, transparent and rigorous State examinations model which maintains public trust, and teachers fully support a move away from an excessive reliance on final written examinations. However, we believe that the introduction of school-based assessment for certification poses a serious threat to the credibility of the examination process, said Gerry Quinn, TUI President.

ASTI President Philip Irwin said: We want a first class Junior Cycle education for all students. We fully agree that project work, portfolio work, practical work, and other methods of evaluating student learning are vital elements of a modern, forward-looking system, but we believe that they should be externally assessed for certification purposes. There are also serious and justified concerns over the capacity and school and system level to deal with the current proposals. We believe a resolution can be found, but teachers serious concerns must be listened to and addressed. Teachers must have confidence in the change they are implementing in their classrooms.

The ASTI Standing Committee and TUI Executive Committee are to consider further industrial action over the Framework for Junior Cycle in the coming weeks.

Ends

SchoolDays

(22-01-2015 07:56)


ISSU PRESS STATEMENT JANUARY 22nd 2015

CLOSING OF SCHOOLS MUST STOP

The National Student Executive (NSE) of the Irish Second-Level Students Union (ISSU) regretfully confirms again that second-level schools will be closed today (January 22nd) due to industrial action by the ASTI and TUI. This is the second day of industrial action to be taken in relation to the proposed Junior Certificate Reforms (JCSA) and with mock examinations due to take place shortly nationwide, this action will undoubtedly have an affect on students and their studies.

Speaking this morning, Joanna Siewierska ISSU Education Officer, said;

I respect the teacher unions and their concerns in relation to the Junior Certificate reforms. However, as a Leaving Certificate student I am only ten days away from sitting my mock exams. This second day of strike action is disrupting mine and my fellow students education at a very crucial and important point in time. It is adding unnecessary confusion to the JCSA discussion and it is equally unfair to all students in second-level school. The closing of secondary schools needs to stop. Again, we respectfully ask teachers to return to talks with the Minister for Education and Skills.

Craig McHugh, ISSU President, added;

"I am extremely disappointed that the striking teacher unions have failed to reach consensus on these reforms and that a second day of strike action is taking place. The JCSA reforms are focused on building a more relevant, fair, engaging and progressive second-level education system. Focus needs to return to the Junior Certificate Reform in its entirety and conversations need to happen between the relevant education stakeholders. Our education is being affected by this. This is not fair on students".

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