What a mess -- it's no wonder Barroso lost it
Our teachers have joined their union leaders in the struggle against having to contribute to our recovery, writes Emer O'Kelly
In April 2002 the secondary teachers, through their union representatives, were threatening to stop the education system in its tracks if the benchmarking process -- then in progress -- did not deliver them a pay increase of 30 per cent.
I wrote about it, calling them avaricious, incompetent, lazy money-grubbers, given their then working week of 22 hours, and the fact that they were throwing one-in-five citizens of this country on to the scrap heap as they left school unable to read and write.
Later that year, after the benchmarking process had been completed, a pay increase of 21 per cent was delivered, on top of the normal national pay rises which ran at an average 10 per cent annually through the boom years.