Unions hint at historic merger
A HISTORIC merger of the country's two second-level teachers unions could be on the cards.
It would create a single powerful force of 27,000 teachers as well as about 4,000 lecturers in institutes of technology.
Leaders of both the Association of Secondary Teachers' Ireland (ASTI) and Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) revealed the move yesterday at their respective annual conferences. It is believed that their current campaigns against elements of Junior Cycle reform helped to cement the idea.
ASTI president Sally Maguire told her delegates: "How much stronger would we be if all of our state-ments, our protests, our negotiations were done with one voice... the 27,000 Teachers' Voice."
Meanwhile, at the TUI conference in Kilkenny, union general secretary John MacGabhann said it seemed to him "increasingly illogical, often absurd and certainly wasteful to have two unions at second level".