To Pat King and all 17,000 members of the ASTI, please spare us your hypocritical outrage.
Spare us your fury. Spare us your misguided indignation and do us all a favour and drop your mind-numbingly stupid industrial action.
Please don't say you are doing this in the interests of the Irish education system. Please don't claim you are doing this in the interests of the children you have abandoned.
This is naked self-interest and it is sickening. No cabal – be they bankers, politicians, teachers or whoever – has the right to hold a country to ransom.
Your rejection of the Haddington Road deal, a watered-down version of the failed Croke Park II Agreement, in the face of universal support of the deal by your rival unions, speaks volumes as to how out of touch you really are.
Unilaterally, you withdrew from after-school meetings and refused to do additional unpaid administrative work. As well as that, you ASTI members have stated that you will not co-operate with training for the new Junior Cycle programme.
Colm O'Rourke Sports section
Almost a month on from the start of the industrial action, parents are beginning to report their concerns to principals.
In the immediate term, such things like open nights for prospective students and parent-teacher meetings in many schools have been postponed. Longer term, this stand-off
risks damaging the exam cycles for the very children you are supposed to be aiding in their development.
But, the truth of the matter is that you are one of the most cosseted groups in Irish society and you feel it is your right to defy the will of the majority, no matter the inconvenience to your pupils, their parents or to the schools you work for.
It is a wonder with this attitude the country didn't go broke before it did.
Here are the facts:
In terms of hours, you work only for half the year. You get summers, Easters, Christmases off, as well as mid-term breaks.
You enjoy increments and guaranteed pensions that many in the free-market private sector would give their right arm for.
Kay O'Brien, president of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), wrote this weekend that the very least the Government and the ASTI owe students is dialogue. It will cost nothing and the potential outcome is priceless. The dialogue already happened. It was the Croke Park II talks, which then became the Haddington Road deal talks. The time for talking is over.
O'Brien sent a letter to the ASTI which stated that the current situation will damage the capacity of schools to meet the needs of students, teachers and parents.
She called on the ASTI to ensure that its members remember their important role in society in furthering the educational welfare and development of their pupils.
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn and the Government have right on their side.
The Haddington Road agreement has its faults, but a deal has been negotiated and no one vested interest has the right to jeopardise such an agreement just because they are so inflexible as to recognise the greater need.
So, to those ASTI card-carrying members, as long as you continue this farce you are an embarrassment to your profession and you are not worthy of calling yourselves teachers.