INTO sends out ballots for vote on new deal
BALLOT papers go out today to 32,000 primary teachers as the Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) gets its vote on the Haddington Road agree- ment under way.
The country's biggest teachers' union is advising members that the alternative is a "sustained campaign of industrial action, including strikes".
INTO leaders say the agreement is "the best protective strategy for INTO members at this time".
The INTO ballot continues until June 17 and there is no sign of any change in the position of the two second-level unions, the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) and the Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI).
Both announced last week they were awaiting a "final offer" before asking members to vote, but Labour Relations Commission chief executive Kieran Mulvey has said the negotiations are over.
A government decision to impose cuts over the summer will trigger their ASTI and TUI mandates for industrial action, raising the prospect of chaos when second-level schools re-open in September.
Meanwhile, Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin indicated yesterday that pension cuts for retired civil servants will be reversed when economic conditions allow.
Mr Howlin said he intended to reduce the burden of public service pension reductions in the future.
In a letter to the Alliance of Retired Public Servants, he indicated that when economic circumstances progressed, those receiving the lowest pensions would be the first to benefit from any reversal of pension cuts.