Students won't be only losers if teachers vote 'No'
THE decision by the leadership of the secondary teachers' union, ASTI, to recommend a 'No' vote on concessions in the Haddington Road public service agreement is very disappointing news. But hope remains that the 17,000 members of the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland, will make up their own minds and, for the good of all concerned, take a different view from that recommended to them.
Last September, ASTI was the only public service union to reject the elaborated deal on pay and conditions which is central to this Government's efforts to get this country back into the black. The teachers have been involved in industrial action since the autumn, refusing to take parent-teacher meetings out of school hours and not co-operating with preparations for the new Junior Certificate curriculum.
Over the past week hopes of a compromise solution built as ASTI leaders and officials from the Department of Education met for talks. The union leadership described what emerged as the best deal available.