Wednesday 13 December 2017

'I'm voting no again to ministerial hot air'

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn
Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn

Barry Hazel, ASTI executive member

Education and Skills Minister Ruairi Quinn says ASTI members are at risk of redundancy if they don't accept Haddington Road.

I say no to ministerial "hot air".

Mr Quinn, a former Minister for Labour, should know that it is normal employer-employee practice first to offer a voluntary package.

Secondly, even if he pushed for mandatory redundancies he would have to clear the legal hurdle of discriminating against a teacher because they were a member of a particular trade union.

ASTI CEC members were told that the union would be confident of victory in such a case.

We were also told that any move at redundancy would result in an immediate court injunction against mandatory redundancy.

Lastly, with a rising population we need more teachers, not fewer.

Despite what certain ASTI leaders have indicated, the issue of Junior Cert reform is not separate from Haddington Road.

A working group that will look into teacher concerns is about as reassuring as "Labour's way or Frankfurt's way".

Continuous assessment will be of great benefit to grind teachers, grind schools and some principals who will call to your classroom asking you to have a look again (for the sixth time) at young Johnny 'My parents are really pushy' Murphy's project.

Vote for this and you vote for the New Junior Cert, lock, stock and six hours' maximum training for it.

I want an option to opt out of supervision and substitution.

There are easier ways to make money than being sent into a group you don't teach and who won't innately respect your authority.

Those days are gone and the minister has done absolutely nothing on deteriorating school discipline but cut supports and pile on some useless initiatives.

He doesn't care about school discipline. It's a case of "Never mind the reality/lack of resources, feel the size of this policy".

The minister threatens not to pay for it from January 17, so he will take it with your consent (in a Yes victory) and increase your hours, or he will take it without your consent (in a No victory) leaving you free to take industrial action.

The ASTI will issue a directive against doing free substitution. Then it will be the minister's choice to shut schools down.

The FEMPI legislation is supposedly about financial emergency but didn't we just exit the bailout?

I know these bully-boy deals will never end unless we make a stand now.

Do you really believe this is the last deal where you will be told 'do this or we will throw another acronym act at you'?

The Yes voter must know the direction this Haddington Road train is going – it's the UK system of burning out teachers and trivialising kids' education, such as with the proposed Junior Cert short course on Caring for Animals.

The Government broke Croke Park. We didn't.

Yes, voters must trust the Government. I don't.

Barry Hazel is a member of the ASTI executive

Irish Independent

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