Teachers to be balloted on Junior Cert reforms
Second-level teachers returning to school this week face an early ballot on proposals that would allow the roll-out of full-scale preparations for the new-style Junior Cert.
While one union, the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI), is recommending members support the new deal, some opposition persists within the Association of Secondary Teachers' Ireland (ASTI).
A move by the ASTI leadership to recommend a Yes vote was defeated at a meeting of its 180-member central executive at the weekend - and the package will go to ballot of its 18,000 members with no recommendation.
A group of union activists who are opposed to the reforms - operating under an umbrella known as ASTI Fightback - led the opposition to recommending a Yes vote.
Negotiations on the latest set of proposals concluded in July after a lengthy campaign by the two unions against some elements of the package.
TUI president Gerry Quinn, previously a staunch opponent of the reforms, said the union had comprehensively analysed the proposals and considered that they met and allayed the deep concerns expressed by teachers.
Much of the union opposition to the reforms over past three years was about the plan for teachers to take on some responsibility for assessing their own students for a state certificate. However, this requirement all but disappeared in the final deal.