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Teacher Unions to ballot for industrial action

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 11/08/2022. Teacher Unions to ballot for industrial actionTags: Teachers

The INTO and ASTI have said they will ballot their members next month on possible industrial action to secure pay rises. Statements from both unions can be viewed below.

ASTI Statement 10th August 2022
ASTI begins preparations for public sector pay ballot
The Standing Committee of the ASTI today decided to conduct a ballot of members this September on potential industrial action over pay, in line with other public sector unions affiliated to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU).
The ballot will form part of a coordinated campaign by public sector unions in the context of continuous high inflation and the failure of Government to make a sustainable offer at Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) discussions.
ASTI President Miriam Duggan said teachers and other public sector workers are trying to cope with hefty cost of living increases.
“A significant improvement in pay is essential to help offset spiralling inflation,” said Ms Duggan. “Teachers in common with other public sector workers are finding it difficult to make ends meet. It is very disappointing that the Government is showing such scant regard for public servants in light of all they contributed at the height of the pandemic.”
“The Government must return to the WRC with a credible proposal for unions and their members to consider.”
The ASTI is recommending that its members vote for industrial action in the ballot.

INTO Statement 10th August 2022
The Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) today decided to initiate a September ballot of all its members (ROI) for potential industrial action, unless the Government’s irresponsible procrastination on public-sector pay talks ends quickly with a respectable pay offer put on the table.

The decision was taken in solidarity with all workers across the public service who are battling accelerating inflation and steep increases in the cost of living, as are all Irish workers, while the Government has failed to engage in further talks with our representatives at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) over the last eight weeks.

Following the decision, INTO President John Driscoll called on the Government to urgently return to negotiations with a respectable pay offer that unions could put to a ballot of their members.
As a member of the ICTU Public Services Committee, the INTO has supported efforts under the review clause of the Building Momentum agreement to secure a necessary pay uplift for public sector workers. This uplift is essential in light of skyrocketing inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.

The union expresses its profound disappointment that the WRC talks process has stalled for the last two months, despite frequent statements from leading Government figures on the need to provide a pay increase for hard-pressed public servants.

The union will be advocating that members respond positively, thereby mandating the union to utilise all options up to and including strike action in order to secure a fair pay rise.

The CEC was briefed in June on the mediocre offer of an additional 2½% proposed by Government for the whole of 2021 and 2022. The CEC fully supported the position of the ICTU Public Services Committee that such an offer would not provide sufficient protection for public sector workers, whose incomes have been decimated over the last eighteen months.

Noting that INTO members have only received a 1% increase in salary since the current agreement commenced in January 2021 – with Irish inflation rising by more than 10% in the same period – it will therefore be necessary for the union to begin the process of balloting our membership for industrial action, unless the government increases its offer significantly in short order.

Balloting for industrial action will be preceded by a two-week consultation process with members and a full ballot of all members will take place in  early September, should the Government fail in the meantime to make a meaningful offer in respect of pay.


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