The use of Financial Emergency in the Public Interest legislation and other measures against members of the ASTI is profoundly disturbing and will have a long-lasting negative impact on the conduct of normal industrial relations in Ireland, ASTI President Ed Byrne said today.
Speaking ahead of the ASTI’s ballot of members on proposals which emerged from recent talks Mr Byrne said: “So long as FEMPI legislation exists, the basic right of a trade union to negotiate freely on behalf of its members is being denied.
“We believe in the right of a union to reject offers from an employer without fear of excessive attacks on the pay and conditions of union members. Following the ASTI’s rejection of the Lansdowne Road Agreement in a democratic ballot, the measures that have been implemented for ASTI members have been extreme and unwarranted. ASTI members’ withdrawal from the unproductive 33 Croke Park hours did not impact on students’ education and yet this move was met with pay cuts, threats of redundancy and the withdrawal of opportunities for secure employment from vulnerable young teachers.”
The ASTI will distribute ballot papers to its members from next week. The union’s Central Executive Council is recommending that ASTI members reject the proposals.
“The proposals do not achieve equal pay for equal work for recently qualified teachers and they do not address our outstanding concerns with regard to Junior Cycle reform,” said Mr Byrne.
Mr Byrne urged all ASTI teachers to read the proposals as well as additional information which is being made available by the ASTI. The deadline for return of completed ballot papers to ASTI head office is February 1st, with the result of the ballot expected on Thursday, February 2nd.