ASTI recommends rejection of Haddington Road deal

Teacher union’s executive council agrees to hold ballot of members on new Government proposals

Memberso of Asti vote at the union’s annual convention in Wexford last April. File Photograph: Patrick Browne

Memberso of Asti vote at the union’s annual convention in Wexford last April. File Photograph: Patrick Browne

Sat, Nov 16, 2013, 18:36

The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) said this evening it will ballot its members on new Haddington Road proposals.

The union’s 180-member Central Executive Council decided to hold the vote at a meeting in Dublin today and recommend that members reject the proposals.

“While the new proposals contain a number of changes and new commitments in relation to teachers and education, members of the Central Executive Council expressed the view that second-level teachers all over the country are exasperated by the ongoing damage to second-level education and the teaching profession due to Budget cuts and austerity measures,” a union spokeswoman said in a statement.

“The view of the Central Executive Central is that the changes which emerged from the recent talks are not acceptable.”

The ballot will take place over the coming weeks.

Members of the union voted to reject the Haddington Road deal on public service pay and productivity in September and embarked on a low-level campaign of industrial action last month.

Today’s meeting followed talks between the department and the ASTI during the week which resulted in a number of clarifications or changes in relation to the agreement.

One of the key new proposals was that second-level teachers will be allowed to opt out of supervision and substitution duties in schools – which previously had been compulsory under the deal – in return for a reduction in pay.

The union described this initiative as “ a major change”.

The proposal on opting out of supervision and substitution duties will also apply to members of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland, whose members accepted Haddington Road and were working the agreement since mid-October. It said it had also been pressing for such changes.

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