Monday 14 October 2019

ASTI signals intention to hold industrial action ballot over two-tier pay scales

Asti president Breda Lynch. Photo: Fergal Phillips
Asti president Breda Lynch. Photo: Fergal Phillips
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

The secondary teachers’ union, ASTI has signalled its intention to conduct a ballot for industrial action in its campaign for the abolition of two-tier pay scales, but there are no immediate plans for one.

The teacher unions are adopting a joint approach on the issue, and much will depend on the outcome of talks  currently underway and whether the primary teachers’ union, the INTO, decides to go ahead with a similar ballot.

Both the ASTI and the INTO  reject proposals in the autumn that went a long way towards bring post 2010-entrants up to pay parity with longer serving colleagues.

The INTO is bound to conduct a ballot on  industrial action if the dispute is not resolved.

However, both unions, along with the Teachers’ Union of Ireland – which accepted the pay proposals – are now involved  in discussions  with the  Oversight Body for the Public Service Stability Agreement on the issue.

That process will be given some time before any decisions are taken on whether to go ahead with ballots for industrial action to put pressure on the Government.

The immediate focus of the discussions  is on those  who started between 2011 and 2014, who stand to  lose most, who , notwithstanding the autumn proposals, face  pay shortfalls over their careers of between about €27,000 and €49,000..

A meeting of the ASTI 180-member central executive committee today adopted a motion signalling its intention to conduct a ballot for industrial action in parallel with the INTO, if the INTO decides to go for a ballot.

ASTI President Breda Lynch said the union was committed to the abolition of a two-tier pay system for teachers. 

“The ASTI has already taken strike action as part of its campaign to achieve equal pay for equal work. We will continue to stand in solidarity with our lower paid colleagues until full pay equality is restored. It is unacceptable that in 2019 we expect a cohort of teachers to do the same work as their colleagues for inferior pay which will lead to substantial losses over their careers. We are committed to ending this discriminatory treatment.”

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