Schools face chaos as teachers vote for industrial action
Published 20/09/2013 | 15:05
SECONDARY teachers have voted in favour of industrial action after rejecting the Haddington Road Agreement.
The ASTI, which represents 17,000 second-level teachers , has voted to reject the deal on pay and conditions 63pc to 37pc.
In a second ballot, ASTI members also voted 65pc in favour of action, up to an including strike, in a move that could cause chaos in schools.
The ASTI leadership will meet on Monday to decide the next step.
Primary teachers, members of the INTO, and other public service workers have accepted the deal.
ASTI general secretary Pat King said “the Haddington Road Agreement is a step too far. Second-level schools are at the tipping point, having been stripped of key supports and personnel.
“Teachers’ message today is that they have given enough. All second-level teachers are delivering more with far less resources at a time when their pay has been cut significantly and their working conditions have greatly disimproved.
“Young people’s education has been diminished and their futures compromised. Haddington Road means taking more from education and from teachers.”
Mr King said teachers were reluctant to take industrial action but the depth of feeling amongst ASTI members was evidenced in the ballot result on industrial action.
The TUI later accepted the Haddington Road Agreement by a majority of 54% to 46%, on a turnout of 65%.
General secretary John MacGabhann said his members voted with strong reluctance to accept "the lesser of two evils".
Gerard Craughwell, TUI president, added that the trust of teachers and lecturers in Government has been severely undermined.
"Notwithstanding the union's acceptance of the agreement there is a huge and growing sense of anger and frustration amongst teachers and lecturers at the fact that, as well as being targeted for successive pay cuts, they are being increasingly burdened with additional bureaucratic work that does nothing to enhance the quality of teaching and lecturing," he said.
"It should not be inferred that TUI's acceptance of Haddington Road represents an acceptance of the austerity agenda. It does not."