School managers criticise revised Croke Park deal

Union says managers’ letter is a gross interference in pay negotiation process

Deputy general secretary of the Psychiatric Nurses Association Séamus Murphy: “psychiatric nurses are showing that they are not prepared to accept the regressive and draconian proposals of Croke Park II”

Deputy general secretary of the Psychiatric Nurses Association Séamus Murphy: “psychiatric nurses are showing that they are not prepared to accept the regressive and draconian proposals of Croke Park II”

Wed, Mar 20, 2013, 06:00


Managers of Catholic primary schools have expressed strong concern about the proposed new Croke Park agreement.

The Catholic Primary School Management Association (CPSMA) said the measures in the proposed new deal would, if accepted, have an extremely negative impact on educational outcomes.

“Boards of management will not be in a position to deliver an appropriate education to pupils in accordance with the requirements of the 1998 Education Act. Schools will also be faced with significant health and safety issues”, the association said in a letter to school principals and boards.

‘Bridge too far’
The CPSMA described the new Croke Park agreement as “simply a bridge too far” and raised specific concerns about proposals on substitute cover and on the redeployment of special needs assistants.

However the INTO, the union representing primary teachers, strongly criticised the CPSMA letter.

It described the letter as “a gross interference in a pay negotiation process where the CPSMA does not have a role.

“The issuing of the letter is an unprecedented interference by management in the balloting process that is a wholly inappropriate development that never happened in any previous collectively negotiated, national wage agreement .”

The INTO said the proposals that emerged were the best that could be achieved through those negotiations.

“Demands in the talks included longer hours for teachers and more extensive pay cuts for teachers. School management now appears to be saying that teachers should accept far greater salary cuts and work longer hours. The letter fails to acknowledge that the proposals are essentially about the pay and the salaries of public servants including the cost of substitution in certain circumstances.”

Nurses’ campaign
Meanwhile, psychiatric nurses have begun withdrawing “goodwill practices” such as using their personal mobile phones or cars for work purposes in protest at cuts under the proposed new Croke Park deal.

As part of the campaign, which commenced on Tuesday, psychiatric nurses will also adhere strictly to their rosters and will not swap days to facilitate the covering of staff shortages arising from the Government’s moratorium on recruiting.

Deputy general secretary of the Psychiatric Nurses Association Séamus Murphy said: “In withdrawing these ‘goodwill’ practices which management have come to take for granted in the delivery of services, psychiatric nurses are showing that they are not prepared to accept the regressive and draconian proposals of Croke Park II.”

Organisations representing gardaí have already withdrawn similar “goodwill practices”.