Croke Park deal to go ahead with or without teachers
TAOISEACH Brian Cowen yesterday insisted education reforms set out in the Croke Park deal would be implemented -- despite teacher opposition.
Mr Cowen said the failure of the Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) to accept the agreement had resulted in a delay putting the measures into operation.
He said the Government would ensure the agreement was implemented to benefit the wider public service.
The comments come after the TUI, which represents around 15,000 secondary teachers and lecturers, rejected the agreement by a ratio of 3:1 in June.
The Croke Park Agreement was ratified by the Public Service Executive Union committee, but the TUI said it believed the matters affecting the employment terms and conditions of its members should be decided by members alone.
It later reaffirmed its opposition during a special delegate conference. Speaking in the Dail yesterday, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny pointed out that since the Croke Park Agreement was ratified, no efficiencies or savings had been made -- primarily in the area of education.
Under the deal, it had been agreed that by the start of the 2010-11 school year, an extra hour a week would be provided to facilitate teachers engaging in school duties, and post-primary teachers would also be available for three timetabled class periods per week.
A review and revision of teaching contracts, and a review of the academic employment contracts for institutes of technology was also to be carried out by August 31, he said.
Mr Kenny insisted that there had been no urgency or initiative by government to implement the measures. Mr Cowen insisted work was ongoing to proceed with the deal.