‘Unless Junior Cert dispute is resolved, I face being unemployed’

Teacher Noel Hogan says ASTI members are being forced into an ‘impossible position’

Teacher Noel Hogan: ‘Unless the Junior Cert dispute is resolved, I face being unemployed or victimised.’ Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Teacher Noel Hogan: ‘Unless the Junior Cert dispute is resolved, I face being unemployed or victimised.’ Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

I am 40. I have a one-year-old son, a mortgage and the responsibilities that go with running a home. I am also going to be unemployed in less than two months.

Unless the ongoing dispute over the reformed Junior Certificate is resolved, I and others like me face a choice of being unemployed or victimised.

My current contract ends shortly and the dispute is making it hard for ASTI (Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland) members like me to get employment in schools where there are two teachers’ unions.

All ASTI members have been directed not to take part in training associated with the reformed Junior Cert. That’s fine, as long as you don’t have to switch jobs.

But what happens if an ASTI member looks for work in a school where staff are members of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI), as will be happening for those of us whose contracts end in June?

The union’s directive prohibits us from being trained on the new curriculum. Under those circumstances, what school principal would hire you?

We will soon be facing a situation where teachers like me seeking jobs are disadvantaged by a union directive which ties our hands on the new Junior Cert.

Switching from the ASTI to the TUI isn’t allowed during a dispute. One wonders if those who are reluctant to bring this problem to a conclusion would be so unbending if they were watching the weeks count down to unemployment?

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