Monday 11 December 2017

Teacher goes to High Court to fight school transfer that 'humiliated' her

Stock photo
Stock photo

Aodhan O'Faolain

A Galway-based secondary school teacher has launched a High Court challenge against her proposed transfer from the school where she has taught for 17 years to another college.

The action has been brought by Dympna Mannion against Galway Roscommon Education Training Board's (ETB) decision to redeploy her from St Killian's College, Ballinasloe, to Merlin College in Galway city.

The court heard Ms Mannion believes she is being "forced out" of St Killian's.

At the High Court, Dermot Sheehan, for Ms Mannion, a business studies teacher, said his client was informed of the proposed transfer by St Killian's principal Padraig Kelly around 10 minutes before the end of the school year on June 2.

Surplus

She claims she was told she was being transferred because there was a surplus of business studies teachers.

Ms Mannion was shocked and broke down in tears after being informed of the decision to transfer her.

It was not clear why she was selected, counsel said.

She asked Mr Kelly why she had been targeted. However, he denied that she was targeted.

She was also informed that she was selected because the other business teachers at the school had more service and more seniority.

Ms Mannion says that there should have been an attempt by the ETB to seek a voluntary transfer and the policy should have been last in, first out.

She claims there are nine more junior teachers at the school who she says were not considered for redeployment and no request for volunteers for any proposed transfer was made. Notice of any proposed transfer should have been given earlier than it was, she also argued.

In a sworn statement to the court, Ms Mannion said that, in her case, sections of the Redeployment Scheme, contained in the 1998 Education Act concerning the transfer of teachers, were not followed.

The fact she was not consulted and was notified of the transfer just before the end of the school year "humiliated me", was "high handed" and "unfair".

She made an industrial relations complaint to Galway Roscommon ETB's human r esources department about the proposed transfer.

However, that was not successful.

In her action, Ms Mannion, of Headford Road, Galway, seeks an order quashing the ETB's decision to transfer her.

She also seeks a declaration that the decision to transfer her was in breach of redeployment procedures contained in the 1998 Education Act.

Permission to bring the challenge was granted, on an ex-parte basis, by Mr Justice Seamus Noonan.

The matter was adjourned to a date later this month.

Irish Independent

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