TUI says it cannot provide Department of Education with list of its members
Government faces difficulties in identifying members of different unions in schools
A difficulty the Department of Education is likely to face is how to differentiate between members of the TUI and ASTI and those who are not members of any union. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien
The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has said it cannot provide the Department of Education or school managers with the names of its members.
The department wants the names to pay some staff increments because they have accepted the Haddington Road agreement.
The union said it could not supply such lists due to data protection constraints.
TUI members have accepted the Haddington Road deal. But in many cases they work alongside members of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) which has rejected the pact.
A difficulty that the department is now likely to face is how to differentiate between members of the TUI and ASTI and those who are not members of any union.
The department cannot under data protection rules use information it already has in place for deducting union subscriptions from the pay of teachers.
The TUI said it had not been asked by the department for lists of its members in relation to the implementation of the Haddington Road deal, although it said on its website that it had “heard reports” that management at local level and Education and Training Boards (formerly VECs) may be requesting details of all TUI members from the union’s workplace representatives.
The TUI said it was up to the department to devise a legally viable method for applying the Haddington Road agreement to its members.
The TUI had sought advice from the Data Protection Commission who, it is understood, maintained that details of trade union membership constituted “sensitive personal data”.