Unions / management talks begin
The ASTI will attend talks between the public service unions and the management side on Monday, January 14th. Representatives from all of the public service unions will be present.
At an initial briefing session between the two sides in November, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform confirmed that the Croke Park agreement is on course to deliver €3.3 billion of savings by 2015. Teachers have contributed in a number of ways including working longer hours - the aggregate value of these hours being €43 million per annum - and the redeployment of hundreds of teachers – which saved about €10 million last year alone.
At the briefing meeting the Department side set out a requirement to save a further €1 billion in public sector expenditure over the next three years. In response the Unions pointed to the substantial savings already contributed by public servants. The ASTI General Secretary, Pat King pointed out that some teachers - ie those on part-time and temporary contracts are among the lowest paid public servants in the country.
At its meeting today, the ASTI Standing Committee decided to enter the talks. However, Standing Committee has stated that the ASTI will be prioritising the pay and conditions of teachers, including new entrants to teaching, in the talks. Teachers have already taken pay cuts and further pay cuts would be unacceptable to the ASTI.
The Croke Park Agreement expires in 2014.
ASTI members will be consulted on any proposals affecting their pay and conditions.