Sunday 22 January 2017

Generals of the ASTI will find it hard to march the troops up the hill again

John Walshe

Published 12/11/2016 | 02:30

Education Minister Richard Bruton pointed out that the additional time provided across the public sector represented the equivalent of 12,000-13,000 jobs. Photo: Tom Burke
Education Minister Richard Bruton pointed out that the additional time provided across the public sector represented the equivalent of 12,000-13,000 jobs. Photo: Tom Burke

It was déjà vu all over again for members of the Association of Secondary Teachers (ASTI) this week. Not for the first time were they marched up the hill to prepare for a long war, only to be led down quicker than expected.

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The suspension of hostilities was inevitable as members realised the folly of fighting on too many fronts without realistic objectives. They faced the prospect of continuing to lose pay while other teachers in schools that stayed open faced no penalty.

Union leaders were struggling to explain to the public why they were refusing to do supervision and substitution, what was wrong with the extra €4,500 a year for newly-qualified teachers negotiated by the INTO and TUI, the complexities of the 33 Croke Park hours and why they rejected the Lansdowne Road Agreement (LRA)?

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