Teaching unions reject public sector pay deal
The proposed public sector pay and reform deal was dealt a major blow today after two teaching unions voted to throw it out.
The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland and the Teachers Union of Ireland, representing over 32,000 workers, rejected the agreement after a ballot of members.
Both unions cited concerns about the renegotiation of contracts.
Lower-paid public servants with the Civil Public and Services Union have also refused to back the deal, while the Public Service Executive Union and the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants, representing mid and high-ranking employees, have voted to support the package.
John White, Asti general secretary, said teachers were not prepared to accept the possibility of further cuts.
"Asti members rejected this agreement because they do not wish to have a review of their contracts," he said.
"In the context of significant pay cuts and a pension levy, members do not accept a review of their contracts which would lead to further impositions upon the.
"Furthermore, send-level teachers have been put to the pin of their collars dealing with all the difficulties of society which manifest in their classrooms at a time when resources have been cut and the whole middle management structure has been removed from schools."
Asti members voted 62% to 38% against the package.
The Teachers Union of Ireland decisively rejected the plan, with members voting three-to-one against, 75% to 25%.
It said a demand to renegotiate contracts for second and third level teachers, along with an extra hour to the working day, was the main reason for rejection.
The leadership of both unions had urged members to throw out the deal, negotiated during intense talks in Croke Park around two months ago.
Members of the Irish National Teachers Organisation were pressed to support it, with a ballot expected to be announced later today.