TUI rejects pay deal and backs industrial action
Members of the Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) have voted to reject the new public service pay deal and are backing industrial action in opposition to unequal pay.
The union said its members rejected the deal by a margin of 87pc, with a 52pc turnout for the vote.
TUI officials had recommended against supporting the deal and the result of the ballot was in line with that recommendation.
It has opposed the inequality of pay for teachers who qualified after 2011.
In a simultaneous ballot, members of the union voted in favour of industrial action up to strike action by a margin of 81pc.
"The union's executive committee had recommended rejection of the proposed agreement because it would effectively copper-fasten a system of pay inequality for its three-year duration," a statement said.
TUI president Joanne Irwin said throughout the negotiations it "clearly and unambiguously" identified the issue of pay equality for those appointed after January 1, 2011, as being of primary importance.
"It is morally wrong that two colleagues are placed on significantly different pay scales although carrying out the same work.
"This constitutes unacceptable discrimination," she said.
She said the union's executive would now decide on how best to act on the mandate for industrial action.
TUI Grassroots welcomed the decision to reject the offer.
"They have sent a clear message to the Government and to the leadership of our union that we want serious action on the issues arising from the imposition of the austerity agenda on teachers and lecturers," spokesman Eddie Conlon said.