ASTI votes not to be bound by congress if ballot result is not in line

Union will ballot for industrial action if first Croke Park deal is breached

Delegates Imelda Keogh, Carlow, and Anne Loughnane, Cork, at the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland annual convention.  Photograph: Patrick Browne

Delegates Imelda Keogh, Carlow, and Anne Loughnane, Cork, at the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland annual convention. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Thu, Apr 4, 2013, 20:15

The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland has threatened to ballot members on industrial action if existing terms and conditions of members are breached.

ASTI is the second union to adopt this position.

It also voted yesterday to break ranks with other public service unions if the results of its ballot on Croke Park II next week are not in line with the decision of the public service committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to ratify the agreement.

Union members must return their votes by post by Friday, April 12th. The union’s executive has recommended rejection of the Labour Relations Commission draft proposals.

The largest teaching union, the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation, will also ballot its members next week, but has not issued a recommendation.

ASTI has also threatened to ballot members on industrial action if existing terms and conditions of members are breached.

Second union
It is the second union to adopt this position. Last month the Teachers Union of Ireland voted to hold a ballot on withdrawing from congress if the public service committee ratifies the deal and the Croke Park II proposals are imposed.

Its members have already rejected the proposals by an 85 per cent majority.

ASTI members yesterday voted unanimously in favour of an emergency motion tabled during the last session of the conference in Wexford.

Part two of the motion pledged that “any decisions taken by the ASTI will be in accordance with the best interests of ASTI members, in accordance with the decision of members in the ballot, and will not be dictated by any other body”.

Salary cuts
Any move to impose salary cuts or changes to working conditions would result in an immediate convening of union leaders to “consider an appropriate response by the ASTI, including a ballot of members on industrial action”, the motion read.

The motion also committed the executive to work with other teacher unions in defence of public pay and conditions in the event of a rejection of Croke Park II by its members.