Unions to vote on challenge by ASTI to report on dispute over representation

Teachers’ union says dispute committee not established in line with Ictu rules

There has been friction for some time between the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland  and the Teachers’ Union of Ireland  over representation rights in specific schools.

There has been friction for some time between the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland and the Teachers’ Union of Ireland over representation rights in specific schools.

 

Trade union leaders will on Wednesday vote on a challenge by the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) to a report by the trade union movement on the handling of an internal dispute over who should represent teachers in specific types of schools.

The ASTI has argued a dispute committee and a subsequent appeal committee were not constituted in accordance with the rules of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) .

The committees did not back the ASTI in a dispute over “spheres of influence”.

A report of the Ictu executive council issued ahead of its biennial conference in Belfast this week said lawyers for the ASTI had written to it warning it was reserving its right to take proceedings, if necessary, arising from the handling of the dispute committee and subsequent appeals process.

The ASTI is challenging the part of the executive council’s biennial report dealing with disputes. It is understood that if the conference rejects this part of the executive council report, then the actual findings of the dispute committee and the appeal committee on the “spheres of influence” complaint would also fall.

Closed session

The issue was discussed in a closed session of the Ictu conference on Tuesday. A card vote on a challenge will take place on Wednesday.

There has been friction for some time between the ASTI and the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) over representation rights in specific schools.

The ASTI maintained in a complaint to Ictu that established spheres of influence/representation rights in second-level schools had been contravened by the TUI.

An initial Ictu dispute committee backed, in essence, the establishment of a system of “open recruitment” by both unions across different types of schools.

The ASTI appealed and argued that an arrangement for shared representation rights would be of greater value to the TUI.

The ASTI also maintained the dispute committee had not been properly constituted under the Ictu rules.