Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 12/12/2014. Tags: Education And Politics Teachers Parenting
Statement issued by Teacher Unions 12/12/2014
"The ASTI Standing Committee and TUI Executive Committee today decided that a second day’s strike action over the Junior Cycle dispute will take place on Thursday, January 22nd. The unions also decided, if necessary, to take an additional day of strike action, the date to be announced.
Both unions – which represent 27,000 second level teachers – have a strong mandate for industrial action following ballots of membership. A first day’s strike action took place on December 2nd.
The executive bodies of both unions also agreed that they are prepared to meet with Dr Pauric Travers with a view to facilitating constructive engagement that might help to resolve the impasse. The Minister for Education and Skills stated on Wednesday that she intends to request that Dr Travers consult with both sides, and the unions see this as a positive development.
“It is clear from ongoing feedback from teachers in schools and through their union branch structures that teachers remain resolute in their opposition to the threat posed
to educational standards by significant elements of the proposals,” said TUI President Gerry Quinn. “Specifically, they are opposed to the proposed introduction of teachers assessing their own students and are gravely concerned by the lack of capacity of schools after several years of cutbacks to cope with the magnitude of the proposed changes.”
“Teachers are in favour of positive, appropriately planned and fully resourced improvement and consistently campaign for this,” said ASTI President Philip Irwin. “It is unfair to claim that teachers have not moved. Teachers support many improvements including increased use of project and portfolio work and a move away from an excessive reliance on a terminal examination. However, they want these externally assessed.”
Teachers regret any inconvenience caused to parents and students by the industrial action, but their willingness to take further strike action is a clear indication of the level of their opposition to significant elements of the proposals. Teachers believe that they are acting in the best interests of the education system and the quality of service to students. In addition, it was clear to teachers on picket lines on December 2nd that they had the support of parents in their communities.
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. A recent report from the Chief Inspector for schools stated that the vast of majority of parents believe teaching is good in their child’s second-level school. 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."
End of statement