Yes vote on pay deal in best interest of teachers - Minister

Ruairi Quinn urges ASTI members consider the proposals carefully

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn understood that arrangements for the ballot of ASTI members was not yet finalised and it might not be completed until the third week of December. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn understood that arrangements for the ballot of ASTI members was not yet finalised and it might not be completed until the third week of December. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Tue, Nov 19, 2013, 20:39

It is in the best interests of members of the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland (ASTI) to vote in favour of the proposals that would settle the union’s ongoing dispute with the department, the Minister for Education and Skills has said.

“Obviously I would hope that members will look at it and look at all the detail and consider what is in their best interests and I think it is very much in their best interests to accept the proposals and changes,” the minister Ruairi Quinn said this evening.

He understood that arrangements for the ballot of ASTI members was not yet finalised and it might not be completed until the third week of December.

“We have to consider what the outcome is going to be, obviously we don’t know,” he said.

ASTI members however should study the deal carefully, what is proposed and the clarifications made in the Haddington Road agreement. ASTI was the only public service union to reject the national agreement on pay and conditions.

There were three issues of importance, clarification on the use of the 33 “Croke Park hours”, the establishment of a working group to discuss changes to the Junior Certificate and acceptance that some teachers could opt out of doing supervision and substitution duties but it would come “at a cost”, he said.

“The matter has now gone out to 70,000 member of a trade union. I would ask all members to consider the implications and consider what is on offer quite carefully,” he said.

Mr Quinn was speaking in Dublin at the Royal Irish Academy on the launch of a book on primary school education in the 1800s written by Garret Fitzgerald just before his death in May 2011 and then completed by his son John.

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