independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Unions in talks over Junior Cert

TALKS are continuing today on controversial moves to reform the Junior Certificate.

Teachers, principals and managers are concerned about the capacity of schools to implement changes planned from next September.

The issue has become entangled in the dispute over pay and productivity between the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) and the Government.

Efforts are being made to tease out the problems as the ASTI prepares for another ballot on the Haddington Road Agreement (HRA) on pay and productivity. The ASTI executive committee has recommended a 'no' vote in a ballot starting next week.

The union's 17,000 members have been involved in industrial action, including a ban on meetings outside school hours, since early October, after rejecting the HRA.

That has seen the cancellation of parent-teacher meetings, or school closure to allow them to happen inside their normal working day.

If the ASTI votes 'no' to revised proposals that emerged two weeks ago, it will set the stage for even worse disruption in 70pc of second-level schools where it has members.

Department of Education officials yesterday met separately with the ASTI, the Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) and the National Association of principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD). Today they will meet with school managers.

Irish Independent

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