TUI to ballot on strike action over Croke Park

Teacher union to liaise with other trade unions in alliance against deal

 TUI president Gerard Craughwell . Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

TUI president Gerard Craughwell . Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times


Peter McGuire

The Teachers' Union of Ireland is set to conduct a ballot for industrial action, up to and including strike action, in the event that the Government imposes the new Croke Park proposals on public sector pay and reform.

The TUI will also liaise with other trade unions with a view to building an alliance against the new Croke Park proposals. In particular, the TUI is looking towards the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, the Garda Representative Association, the Civil and Public Service Union, and the Association of Secondary Teacher Ireland, all of whom have expressed opposition to the Government's new public pay and reform plans.

Martin Marjoram said that TUI members had no obligation to the original Croke Park proposals if the Government seeks to impose a new agreement before 2014. "That will cause chaos, and they should see that chaos and be made to suffer for what they have done," he stated.

Mr Marjoram called the new proposals "a list of bullying threats" by the Department of Education, and called on teachers to stand up to them.

Although the TUI members voted overwhelmingly to support the ballot for strike action, the TUI's own Executive strenuously opposed the motion to instruct teachers not to co-operate with the Croke Park proposals.

Susan Flannery, a member of the Executive Committee, said the trigger had already been set for strike action. "We won't be alone, we will be leaders of the pack," she said, while urging teachers to be cautious.

John McDonagh, also of the Executive Committee, said the union needed to be strategic in fighting its cause, urging delegates to allow the Executive to leave negotiating channels open.

Delegate Eddie Conlon, a member of the Executive Committee, to sustained applause, criticised his follow committee members for a failure to provide a programme for action for the next concrete steps against the new Croke Park proposals.

Yesterday, the TUI voted against entering any new talks on the Croke Park proposals. The union also voted to hold a ballot on withdrawing from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in the event that the Croke Park proposals are imposed after a meeting of the public services committee on April 17th, which will decide on whether or not the deal is ratified.

Last month, 86 per cent of the TUI's membership voted against accepting the new Croke Park proposals.

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