Teachers to ballot on industrial action over Junior Cert
TEACHERS may withdraw their co-operation with preparations for the new-style Junior Cert, after a ballot next month.
The two second-level teacher unions have announced that their 27,000 members will vote over three weeks in March on possible industrial action.
The results will be announced on March 26.
If they vote yes, there are a range of options, including a boycott on any further training relating to the change proposals or a ban on continuing co-operation in about 50 school schools piloting the reforms.
The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) and the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) object to aspects of Junior Cycle proposals, which are due to be phased in from September.
The unions claim the changes “pose serious threats to education standards and to the objectivity and transparency of Junior Cycle exams”.
One of reforms meeting most opposition is the plan for gradual switch from traditional State exams to in-school assessment of students by their own teachers.
Another concern is the pace of change and the capacity of schools to implements reforms on the scale envisaged in light of cuts to resources in recent years.
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn recently announced a slow down in the timetable for change, and other measures designed to appease the unions, but they said he did not no far enough.
The unions have also stressed that the proposals are likely to worsen inequalities between schools.