TUI vows to defy Ictu if Croke Park II ratified

Annual conference of teachers’ union to debate motion proposing resistance to deal by all necessary means

TUI president Gerard Craughwell said the union would vote against the new Croke Park agreement at the meeting of Ictu’s public services committee to ratify the deal. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

TUI president Gerard Craughwell said the union would vote against the new Croke Park agreement at the meeting of Ictu’s public services committee to ratify the deal. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tue, Apr 2, 2013, 05:00

The annual conference of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) will today debate an emergency motion which raises the prospect of industrial action if the Government moves unilaterally to implement the new Croke Park agreement.

Union members last week overwhelmingly rejected the terms of the proposed deal in a ballot.

The union’s executive will today table an emergency motion which, if passed, would commit the union to take all necessary means to resist any attempt by the Government to impose the cuts set out.

Not bound by Ictu decision
The motion is also expected to state that the union would not be bound by any decision by the public services committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) to ratify the deal.

Traditionally, if the public services committee – on a weighted majority basis, depending on the size of individual unions – backs such a deal, those who have rejected it abide by the overall decision.

Speaking after the ballot result last week, TUI president Gerard Craughwell said the union would vote against the proposals at the meeting of the public services committee.

“The TUI position is that it is not for the public services committee to determine working conditions for members of unions who have rejected the proposals,” he said.

The emergency motion, to be debated at the conference in Galway today, is expected to call on Ictu to respect the union’s stance in relation to the proposed agreement.

The motion is not expected to refer specifically to what the union would do in the event of the public services committee seeking to ratify the agreement.

However it is possible some union branches may propose their own emergency motions, to be debated on Wednesday, which could call on the union to withdraw from Congress if, on receiving a vote in favour, it moved to ratify the proposed agreement.

Separately at the conference, the Dundalk IT branch of the union has called on the executive to lodge a pay claim on behalf of members.

The union represents about 14,500 teachers and lecturers working at second and third level in the education sector