Friday 21 October 2016

Pay cut reversal up in air as teacher unions reject deal

Published 15/10/2015 | 02:30

Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan
Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan

The reversal of pay cuts suffered by second-level teachers is up in the air, after members of the two unions involved rejected the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

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The Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) general secretary, John MacGabhann confirmed last night that his members had voted no by an overwhelming 92pc to 8pc, with a turnout of 60pc.

Earlier, the Association of Secondary Teachers (ASTI) announced that its members had rejected the deal by 74pc to 26pc. The ASTI turnout was 31.5pc, which means that fewer than one in three of the union's members voted.

ASTI president Máire Ní Chiarba said the agreement did not address the key concerns of teachers.

The agreement has already been accepted by a majority of unions, and the key issue for the second-level teaching unions now is whether they will be bound by the aggregate decision of the Public Services Committee of the Irish Congress of Trades Unions(ICTU).

If they don't, it would put at risk the pay restoration measures due to be phased in for public service workers from January.

Executive bodies of the two unions will consider their next steps at meetings taking place today and tomorrow.

The Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO), representing primary teachers, is among the unions that has accepted the deal.

The LRA provides that, by the end of 2017, most public servants will get back about €2,000 through the partial reversal of pay cuts, and adjustments to the pension levy for State employees.

The first concessions include a reduction in the pension levy and salary increases for public servants earning up to €31,000 from January 1, 2016.

Irish Independent

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