Tuesday 23 January 2018

'I hope you die roaring of cancer,' union boss told

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

A UNION leader has received hate messages from workers wishing he would "die roaring of cancer" after attending talks on the new Croke Park deal.

Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) president Gerard Craughwell, below, revealed he has been subjected to a litany of abuse since the agreement was struck, although he never got a chance to negotiate.

Mr Craughwell said Labour Relations Commission officials told him he could not engage in the talks as he was an elected union member but claimed that none of the TUI leaders were given the opportunity.

His union has urged its 14,500 members, who teach at secondary schools and colleges, to reject the deal to cut €1bn from the state payroll over three years.

Among the cuts to education, to save €350m of the total, are the axing of supervision and substitution payments, and up to 78 extra hours of work for lecturers a year.

"I got some emails and texts, including some saying they wished I died roaring of cancer," he said. I've got threats to my wife and family.

"I don't mind taking that abuse if I negotiated the deal, but I had nothing to do with it."

He described the way the talks were conducted at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform's base in Lansdowne House, Dublin, as "appalling".

"The idea of unions sitting around a big table trying to hammer out a deal is so farcical.

"The teachers' unions spent 27 hours in Lansdowne House and nobody spoke to us. They only spoke to SIPTU and IMPACT. I think they knew they had sufficient votes to drive whatever they wanted through," he said.

Meanwhile, psychiatric nurses will withdraw "goodwill" work practices in protest at the proposed government cuts, following similar announcements by gardai and paramedics.

The Psychiatric Nurses Association said members would not use their mobiles or cars for work, and would refuse to swap days to cover staff shortages.

Irish Independent

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