Colm O'Rourke: Asti has no strategy, no endgame, just a No vote
Teachers are feeling increasingly angry about being hung out to dry by their union, says Colm O'Rourke
A few weeks ago, in this paper I wrote that the Asti was like the Grand old Duke of York, who marched his men up the hill and then marched them down again. I thought the union would have to march back into line as there was no chance of the Government bending the terms of the Haddington Road agreement for one union. Anyway I was entirely wrong, as the union's central executive committee in advocating another No vote last week wants the second-level teachers to go farther and walk lemming-like over the cliff.
Last week it appeared as if the Government had thrown the union a bone to get it off the hook it had managed to impale itself on. But the loony left have taken over and there is no surrender. Quite what the union now wants is unclear, there is no strategy, no endgame. Just No. It appears that Haddington Road will have to be scrapped for one small group, and even what is sought after that is as clear as a black night.
When Asti general secretary Pat King emerged from talks last week he seemed to be relieved that he had something he could hang his hat on. Now it has got much worse, there was movement on several issues and even if they were coming anyway it was no harm for the Department to allow the union to claim credit.